Living Alaska

Dipnetting for Salmon

I feel like I can almost breathe again! We wrapped up summer school this last week, I was able to begin the migration of my blog from Blogger to WordPress self-hosted, and it just all feels good 🙂

But the best part of this week is the hope of fish. I am not a die-hard fisher-woman, but I do enjoy casting a line…. but fishing for me is all about eating the fish. I love seafood, and lake food. Last year we really enjoyed the rainbow trout my son caught. It was huge!

This week is all about the salmon. You see, salmon migrate during their life time. They are born in fresh water rivers here in Alaska, they will spend a year or so swimming around the rivers, but they soon move out into the ocean to become ocean dwellers. They do this until they swim upstream again to spawn (lay their eggs) for the cycle to begin all over again.

 life cycle salmon

As a resident of Alaska, you are given a special stamp to go dip net the salmon as they begin their swim upstream. Dip netting is standing in the river, sometimes up to your chest, with a huge net in the hopes that the salmon will swim into it and you can drag it on shore for your dinner. In order to qualify for this special stamp, you must be a ‘sourdough’. That means you have lived in Alaska for a full year. Guess what, we are now!!

We arrived in Alaska the month before this event and I have been counting down the months before I could dip net for salmon, because I love salmon!!! We will be venturing to the mouth of the Kenai river in order to dip net some salmon for our dinners. We are praying for a good run of the salmon because last weekend our friends didn’t catch a single fish the whole weekend. A good run will mean that our upper backs are sore because we are using dip nets that are 2x our size, fighting the current of the Kenai river, and trying to drag heavy salmon onto shore. We may only survive this a few hours 😉

[gmap height=”260″ address=”Kenai, AK” latitude=”60.5586″ longitude=”151.2297″ maptype=”SATELLITE” align=”center”]

I wanted to share with you a video of what this looks like. It is a perk of living Alaska. I hope you get to come for a visit sometime. But you won’t be able to dip net, sorry. They are pretty strict on those laws. Residents only.

It is a kid friendly environment, but beware, cutting fish scenes exist. These folks process their fish into smoked salmon. This is a very popular way of doing it. Other can it quickly. I don’t know which route I want to go yet. We will see what actually comes home, eh? Happy fishing, y’all!

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