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Dipnetting Salmon in Alaska

August 05, 2017

Growing up in Alaska I ate a lot of salmon. Dip netting was always a way for my family to collect as many as 85 red salmon (sockeye salmon). We would drive down to the Kenai river with friends and family and spend hours on a boat. As if the 4-5 hour drive down wasn't bad enough, now we spend hours battling for a spot to pilot your boat down this very congested portion of river that is between the Kalifornski bridge and the fisheries, just to turn around and do it again. With the dip nets tied off to the bow of the boat, we would find the perfect depth to keep the net submerged.

Once you had a fish in the net, came the chore of landing it with out knocking your buddies out of the boat into the 40℉ or colder water. The person pulling the fish out of the net is responsible for clipping the tail fin to identify that this fish was caught by dip net and not by rod and reel. Since only Alaskan residents are allowed to dip net, fish and game set the limit at 25 fish for the head of the house and 10 fish for each member of the residence, as to 6 fish each for rod and reel.

Then place the harvested fish in the fish box. Sometimes you would get lucky and catch 2-3 reds at the same time, that's when you want some help pulling that net in so you don't risk losing the fish. After all the fish have been harvested or the day has come to an end it's time to clean the fish, boat, gear, and get some sleep.

Until next time,

Aaron Brehm
Bucks of Alaska Head of State


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