WASILLA — Fish Creek, with access off Knik-Goose Bay Road, is a local hot spot for dip netting for Valley residents. On Friday, hordes of vehicles lined up along the road near the bride. Fishnets in hand and waders on feet, they ambled down the shores looking for sockeye salmon.
Dip netting for salmon (except for kings) opened Friday morning and is effective through July 31, closing at 11 p.m. Dip netting will be allowed only between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. each day.
According to a recent press release, the sockeye run met the escapement goal and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is anticipating an excess of 35,000 fish. This prompted them to open dip netting in the area.
Peggy Kristich and her husband Tony were amongst the scores of people at Fish Creek. Some brought boats and while others ran quick investigations, returning to their vehicles with empty nets. Peggy said they were “scoping it out” to decide if they need to venture beyond the Valley.
“Every person we’ve seen has said, ‘no fish’” Peggy said.
The couple has lived in the Valley since 1982. This was their first time checking out Fish Creek. Peggy said that she enjoyed having close and easy access to dip netting. They usually go to Chitina.
“I love it. I’d really love if I could catch some fish,” Peggy said.
No Retention of king salmon is allowed so any kings that make it in the net are not to be removed from the water and to be released immediately.
Anglers can harvest fish offshore or from a boat. ADF&G regulatory markers are located about one-quarter mile upstream from Knik-Goose Bay Road. An additional area along the beach to the north and south of the terminus that opened last year is not open to dip netting this year.
Only Alaska residents may participate in this fishery, according to ADF&G. Dipnet permits are available at local ADF&G offices and their website, and at participating vendors such as grocery stores and gas stations.
For more information, contact the ADF&G Palmer Office at 907-746-6300.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org