Fishing slows as dipnet season winds down

Jul 31, 2017

Sockeye salmon carcasses are a windfall for seagulls during the Kasilof dipnet fishery. Jay Barrett/KDLL photo

Dipnet fishing at the mouth of the Kenai River ends Monday, but it will continue through Aug. 7 on the Kasilof River.

The sockeye escapement reached a high point Friday with 16,480 passing the sonar on the Kasilof, but the fishing didn't reflect it, at least when Myra Tago of Anchorage spoke with KDLL.

"Fishing was pretty slow. I only caught five so far," Tago said. "But my grandpa caught 23 this morning, like at 5 this morning. This is our second year fishing, and our second time coming out to fish (this year)."

Tago was fully equipped to protect against the chilly river water, though at first she said she wasn't sure about the chest waders.

"Before I was like, 'Do I have to wear this?' and they were like, 'Yeah, you have to wear the suit,'" she said. "I wasn't used to it, because we're pretty new here. We came from Hawaii so we're pretty new to the camping and everything, especially in the cold."

Tago said her little sister was helping her by, "Whacking the fish in the head and putting them in the bucket."

Saturday's sonar count on the Kasilof was just under 7,000, with nearly 4,000 added on Sunday, bringing the season escapement total up to 265,688.