Sol Gaston dipnets on North Kenai Beach on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Sol Gaston dipnets on North Kenai Beach on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

It’s that time again

Weekend rain didn’t stop dipnetters

Elizabeth Stergio carefully cleaned her salmon in the morning rain on Saturday at North Kenai Beach. She was one of many dipnetters looking to bag a bunch of fish on opening day of the Kenai River personal-use dipnet fishery.

Stergio’s friend took her dipnetting for the first time almost 20 years ago, and she’s been coming back to fish ever since.

“We learned together,” she said. “I’ve perfected my filleting setup. … My fishing, not so much.”

Stergio made the trip from Anchorage this weekend to dipnet, along with many other fishers who lined Kenai Beach.

She said the fishing was a little slow on Saturday morning. The seals trolling the inlet for salmon might have had something to do with that.

“I’ve seen three separate heads at one time, so I know there are three,” Stergio said. “They’ve got to eat too.”

Among the dipnetters on the beach were Jack and Grace Joan Green and other family members, who came from Anchorage.

“Last year was our first time,” Jack said.

He said his wife taught him a little about how to dipnet.

“I’m more of an angler; I like rod and reel,” he said. “But this is fun.”

Grace Joan said they try to catch enough salmon to last through the winter months, when they cook it all sorts of different ways.

They’ve made teriyaki salmon, salmon fish tacos with mango salsa, lemon-barbecue salmon, smoked salmon dip and salmon cakes, to name just a few.

Raymond and Barb Bradbury have come to dipnet in Kenai for years. They had already bagged three salmon by mid-morning on Saturday.

“Our friends told us about [dipnetting],” Raymond said. “Then we started and … years later we’re helping other people get started.”

Barb said the pair and their kids used to stay overnight in their camper during their summer Kenai dipnet trip. This weekend the Bradburys camped for two nights.

The Kenai River personal-use dipnet fishery is open to Alaska residents daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. through July 31.

This story has been updated.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

A fisher carries a net along North Kenai Beach on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

A fisher carries a net along North Kenai Beach on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

A dipnetter tries for fish at North Kenai Beach on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

A dipnetter tries for fish at North Kenai Beach on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Elizabeth Stergio fillets a salmon after dipnetting on North Kenai Beach on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Elizabeth Stergio fillets a salmon after dipnetting on North Kenai Beach on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Dipnetters make a line in the waters off North Kenai Beach on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Dipnetters make a line in the waters off North Kenai Beach on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Raymond Bradbury rinses his salmon in the mouth of the Kenai River while dipnetting on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Raymond Bradbury rinses his salmon in the mouth of the Kenai River while dipnetting on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Fishers dipnet in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Fishers dipnet in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

More in News

Sarah Knapp / Homer News
The Homer Spit is evacuated during the July 28 tsunami warning at about 10:50 p.m.
Mag 8.2 earthquake rattles Gulf Coast, triggers tsunami warning

Lara Hildreth and Cindy Buchanan never expected their vacation would end in… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski attends a joint Soldotna and Kenai Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘An investment in our country’

Murkowski details implications of infrastructure deal for Alaska

Stephanie Queen speaks during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna mulls return of COVID mitigation protocols at city facilities

The council ultimately recommended mask wearing among city employees while working indoors

Central Peninsula Hospital Pharmacy Technician Jessica Hulet rolls a cart carrying doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine into Central Peninsula Hospital on Wednesday, Dec. 16 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Hospitals busier and busier amid COVID spike

Close to 70% of Alaska’s hospital beds are full amid another surge… Continue reading

A banner supporting Olympic swimmer Lydia Jacoby hangs outside of First National Bank Alaska in her hometown of Seward on Saturday, July 24, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Local briefs: Jacoby may swim again, ‘Little Mermaid’ and a final rodeo

Jacoby may race in relay medleys The Seward Tsunami Swim Club has… Continue reading

The Alaska SeaLife Center in downtown Seward is seen on Saturday, July 24, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Habor seal pup admitted to Alaska SeaLife Center

The seal was found on a beach near the center

The Homer Spit is evacuated during the July 28 tsunami warning at about 10:50 p.m. (Photo by Sarah Knapp)
UPDATE: Peninsula given all clear following earthquake, tsunami warning

An 8.2 magnitude earthquake Wednesday night spurred tsunami evacuations for coastal communities

Photo provided by River City Books 
River City Books is marked with anti-masking graffiti on Wednesday.
Anti-masking graffiti found at River City Books

River City Books was defaced with anti-mask and anti-COVID-19 vaccine rhetoric after… Continue reading

A new sign welcoming people to the City of Soldotna is photographed on May 1, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to auction off surplus goods

The City of Soldotna will auction off surplus city goods, vehicles and… Continue reading

Most Read