Not only seagulls flocked to North Kenai beach on Tuesday — dipnetters are back in town trying to bag their limits of salmon.
People brought their coolers, waders and dipnets to the beach, with some even setting up overnight camps to get a jump on the morning.
Yvette Pace was in town from Anchorage just for the day. She and her partner were trying to fill their cooler on the beach.
She said she tries to get out every year.
Pace moved to Alaska over 20 years ago when her father was stationed here, and she said she’s been here ever since. When it comes to dipnetting, she rolls with the punches.
“We kind of learn along the way. We just learn from other people out here,” she said. “It’s really nice too, even when it’s crowded, it’s nice to talk amongst other dipnetters.”
Tuesday was a little slower than what she was used to, Pace said, but she was generally happy with her catch.
“This year is OK, we’re satisfied with like three at a time,” she said.
Kristen and Cindy Stearns were also setting up their nets on Tuesday afternoon. A few members of the family drove all the way down from Eagle River to try their luck on the Kenai River.
“We’ve come out just about every year,” Kristen said. “I usually make a couple of trips but we usually do at least one family trip.”
One of their newest hacks is having a cart for all of their gear, which they said they’d recommend.
“Buy a buggy to carry your stuff,” Cindy said. “It was nice putting the nets on top.”
The Kenai River personal use salmon dipnet fishery opened last Sunday, and fishing is allowed between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily through July 31. The Kasilof River personal use salmon dipnet fishery is open 24 hours per day seven days per week through Aug. 7. Dipnetting is only allowed for Alaska residents, and both an Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit and a sport fishing license are required.
Reach reporter Camille Botello at email@example.com.