News Release

Federal Subsistence Fishing in the Upper Copper River

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Date: April 20, 2021
Contact: Carrie Wittmer, 9078227255

COPPER CENTER, AK – Federal subsistence fishing in the Upper Copper River opens on May 15. This fishing opportunity is available to qualified local rural residents and a federal permit is required. The permit is a household permit, and only one permit will be issued per household for a given subdistrict. Subsistence fish wheels must be registered by the owner through either the National Park Service or the local office of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Glennallen.

To protect the health of those who live in, work in, and visit our national parks and facilities, and in support of the President’s Executive Order 13991 Requiring Mask-Wearing, face masks are now required in all NPS buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as narrow or busy trails, overlooks, and parking lots. Additionally, due to ongoing public health advisories and staffing delays related to Covid-19, the permitting process has been adapted to ensure the safety of permit applicants and park staff. Modifications to the permitting process vary by location as follows:

Copper Center Visitor Center:
Beginning April 26, and throughout the season, all applicants must call ahead to 907-822-7250 to request a permit.
After allowing time for park staff to process and print the permit, it will be available for pick-up at the Visitor Center beginning May 14 during the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., seven days/week. Note that permits requested late in the day may not be available for pick-up until the following day. Fish wheels may be registered at the time of picking up fishing permits.

Slana Ranger Station:
Fishing permits and fish wheel registration will be available at the Slana Ranger Station beginning May 24 during the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., 7 days/week. Applicants do not need to call ahead at this location. More info: 907-822-7401

Chitina Ranger Station:
Fishing permits and fish wheel registration will be available in Chitina ONLY on May 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Applicants are encouraged to call ahead to 907-822-7250 and request a permit by no later than May 26; walk ins will also be accepted on May 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Otherwise, permits will not be available at the Chitina Ranger Station during the 2021 season; they can instead be acquired at another location.

Kennecott-McCarthy area:
All applicants must call ahead to 907-205-7631 to request their permits and schedule a time for pick-up.

Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters (Tok):
Permits will be available at the Tetlin NWR Office during the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applicants do not need to call ahead at this location. For more information: 907-883-9409 or 907-505-0858

For all issuing stations listed above, a photo ID (such as a driver’s license) and additional proof of the physical address of your primary residence is required when you come to get a permit. Documentation of physical address can include a voter registration card or a utility bill listing your physical address. Permit applicants must be federally qualified subsistence users. To be eligible for a permit, your primary permanent residence must be in rural Alaska and your community must be listed for the intended species and location in the “Customary & Traditional Use Determination” (C&T) column of the Federal Subsistence Management Regulations Booklet for the Harvest of Fish and Shellfish

For more information, contact the park headquarters Visitor Center at (907) 822-7250.

Last updated: April 20, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
PO Box 439
Mile 106.8 Richardson Highway

Copper Center, AK 99573


(907) 822-5234

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