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

The badge for the Kenai Police Department (Clarion file)
Walmart briefly evacuated after bomb threat

The investigation is ongoing.

Peninsula Clarion file
Merry voices to fill Kenai chamber

Historical society carolling event returns after hiatus

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State officials urge vaccination as omicron spreads in US

Omicron was first identified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on Nov. 26.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
1 hunter dead, another missing after boat hits rough seas off Whittier

The pair were reportedly hunting on Wednesday on Esther Island in Prince William Sound.

Kenai City Council members James Baisden (left) and Deborah Sounart (right) listen as member Teea Winger (center) speaks in support of legislation opposing government COVID-19 mandates, during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, in Kenai.
Kenai council declares opposition to mask mandates

The statement does not change city code or supersede federal law.

Signage indicates that face masks are required for entry to the Soldotna Public Library on March 25, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Soldotna City Council voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in city facilities. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Masks recommended, not required in Soldotna city buildings

Council amends measure to make mask-wearing optional

Nick Begich III, seen here in this undated photo, is challenging Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives saying Alaska needs new energy in Washington D.C. (Courtesy photo / Alaskans for Nick Begich)
Nick Begich III touts fiscal conservatism in US House race

GOP candidate challenges Young’s record

Sockeye salmon. (Photo via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Fish and Game seeks comment on 2022 sport fish stocking plan

The Sport Fish Division plans to release approximately 7 million fish into the Alaska water systems over the next five years.

A map shows which parts of the Chugach National Forest are open to motorized winter recreation use for the 2021-2022 season. (Map courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Parts of Chugach National Forest open to snowmachine use

The 2021-2022 winter motorized season will run through April 30.

Most Read