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.