Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Got Fish? Get Some on the Kenai River, Alaska-Style

It’s cold, wet, and messy, but somebody’s gotta do it.

Intrepid Alaskans go dipnetting at the mouth of the Kenai River, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, for their allocation of personal use sockeye salmon.

Loren Holmes photo

Loren Holmes photo www.alaskadispatch.com

A record-breaking sonar count of 246,396 on July, 2013, set the crowds in a frenzy. Eager to fill their freezers with enough sockeye salmon for the long winter, these slightly wacky ambitious fisherpersons (Alaska residents only) rise in the early hours of the day to get their share between the mandated hours of 6am and 11pm.

Photo: Loren Holmes www.alaskadispatch.com

Photo: Loren Holmes http://www.alaskadispatch.com

But its shoulder-to-shoulder, cooler-to-cooler, dipnet-to-dipnet, along the banks of the Kenai to catch the fish. With record counts of sockeye coming in, there’ s plenty for everyone. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game site reports that 526,992 sockeye salmon were caught in 2012 in the Kenai River as well as a few other sites, with plenty more left for the bears. The sockeye salmon season typically runs for a few weeks. This year the dates are July 10 through July 31.

Loren Holmes photo

Loren Holmes photo

Life for non-fishing locals gets a bit tougher though. Here’s a comment my friend, Trena, posted on Facebook.

This is July on the Kenai when the red salmon are running up river.  It is so crazy here –  every road, every store and parking lot, all the boat launches all full of people, boats, motorhomes, etc.  Good news is the golf courses are empty. Great time for golfing.  Just have to allow extra time to get there.

The following slide show gives a brief glimpse into the frenzy of the sockeye fishing season: Dipnetting Kenai River’s Red Salmon Rodeo.

I lived in Alaska for ten years a few miles from the Kenai River, and although I never got involved in dipnetting myself, I did enjoy the results of other people’s fishing success.

Here is a previous I wrote post on Alaska:

Two Oceans Meet in the Gulf of Alaska. Not!

The Last Meow

I just have one question:

Cartoon credit: www.telegraph.co.uk.

Meow for now.    =<^!^>=

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6 thoughts on “Got Fish? Get Some on the Kenai River, Alaska-Style

  1. Looks like fun! I’d want to do this if I lived there. Thanks for posting about it, Janice!

    • Thanks for visiting. I have been away from Alaska for many years, and my daughter lived there until one year ago, so I always keep an eye out for news stories on current happenings there. Brings back memories.

  2. I’ve been to that part of the world, and I loved it. Didn’t see salmon fishing on the Kenai River; but I did take a day cruise around the Kenai fjords out of Anchorage to spot sea creatures and of course marvel at the scenery. It’s a beautiful part of the world.

  3. S.Z. Williams on said:

    I got hypothermia just by looking at that first photo.

    • You are right about that! Hypotermia is one reason I never tried it. Just going out for an hour to watch them all fishing was enough for me. Summer can get quite hot in Alaska, but there are also many cool, cloudy days. And that water? Forget about it!

  4. It is indeed a beautiful area. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to live there for ten years. I have been back to visit twice and would really love to go back again. I still have friends there who worked in the Kenai Peninsula School District with me. We had some good times there.

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