Dipnetting poles line the south shore of the Kenai River's mouth on a busy morning. Several hundred Alaskans gathered at the mouth of the Kenai River to dipnet for sockeye salmon on July 18, 2019. (Marc Lester / ADN)

KENAI — Hundreds of Alaskans gathered at the mouth of the Kenai River to dipnet for sockeye salmon on July 18, 2019. Early-risers crowded the north shore of the river, standing nearly shoulder to shoulder by 8 a.m to fish the hours surrounding the morning high tide. Many had luck and left with full coolers by the time the tide had ebbed at midday.

The dipnet fishery is a personal-use fishery, which means it’s open to Alaska residents only. Many camped in tents and RVs while others came and went in hours. Participants must have valid sport fishing license and a personal use permit, and Alaska State Trooper Cassandra Hajicek said they need to keep the papers in easy reach. She walked along the beach Thursday requesting to see the documents from participants.

Each head of household is allowed 25 sockeye, plus 10 more fish for each additional household member. Limits are combined for all of the fisheries covered by the Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Salmon permit, which also includes the Kasilof River dipnet and gillnet fisheries, and the Fish Creek dipnet fishery (which is only open by emergency order).

The Kenai River dipnet fishery continues through July 31.

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A dipnetter removes a salmon from a net. Several hundred Alaskans gathered at the mouth of the Kenai River to dipnet for sockeye salmon on July 18, 2019. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Several hundred Alaskans gathered at the mouth of the Kenai River to dipnet for sockeye salmon on July 18, 2019. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Gulls scatter near fishermen. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Fish blood drips from a cooler as a fisherman rests. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Ronnie and Rebekah Villalon line up their catch on the Kenai River's north shore. (Marc Lester / ADN)
The busy dipnetting scene on the north shore of the Kenai River is visible from a bluff in the city of Kenai. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Charlie See, of Kenai, walks with his dipnet. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Sylvia Reimers, 13, reads a book as she dipnets. (Marc Lester / ADN)
A dipnetter works in deep water. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Paul Becker and Tim Platt pull their dipnetting gear on a cart as they leave the Kenai River. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Josh Sasita enters the river with his dipnet. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Warren Mitchell, left, and Jeremiah Wallace fillet salmon. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Hal Gage tosses scraps to gulls as he cuts his fish. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Alaska State Trooper Cassandra Jajicek asks dipnettng participants to see their fishing licenses and personal use permits. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Mount Redoubt is visible on a hazy morning during the dipnet fishery. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Families rest at their tents while the tide is low Thursday. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Dipnetters on the Kenai River's south shore are visible from a bluff in the city of Kenai. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Rada Silao cuts a recently-caught fish. (Marc Lester / ADN)
A fish is clubbed after it was removed from a dipnet. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Gulls squawk at each other as they feed on salmon scraps. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Several hundred Alaskans gathered at the mouth of the Kenai River to dipnet for sockeye salmon on July 18, 2019. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Sockeye salmon heads and bones are piled after catches by Warren Mitchell and Jeremiah Wallace filleted the fish. (Marc Lester / ADN)
A couple walks from the parking area to the shore of the Kenai River early Thursday. (Marc Lester / ADN)