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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gone Fishin'

We took a trip down to the Kenai Peninsula (one of my favorite places in Alaska) to go dipnetting in the Kasilof River.

Mount Augustine - across the inlet
Dipnetting is a type of fishing that uses a five foot diameter net to catch the salmon as they swim upstream.  The best place to fish is right at the mouth of the river, as the salmon start to die as soon as they hit fresh water.

Karl and his dad fishing at sunrise
Our first day of fishing was pretty unsuccessful, as the morning and evening tides only netted us 8 fish.  The next morning more than made up for it, and we got 18 more red and pink salmon.  
Isn't Karl fashionable?
We planned to stay another day or two to hit our limit of 60 salmon, but we decided to head home for a couple of days and get this salmon processed.  We're heading back later today to meet Jake and Marcella and fish for another couple of days.

Things I did not know about salmon before this trip:
1. You have to beat the salmon in the head to kill them once they're out of the water.  This offended my sensibilities, but I felt a little better once Karl reminded me that these fish were going to die in a few weeks anyhow.  The state is very aggressive in monitoring the amount of fish that are making it upstream to ensure that the bears get enough to eat and that enough survive to lay their eggs.
2.  Salmon are awfully bloody, and it kind of looked like a mass murder after they were filleted. 

3. You save the eggs from the female salmon, coat them in strawberry jello, and use them as fishing bait to catch more salmon or basically any other fish.
Willows first trip to the beach!
There are hundreds of seagulls everywhere, because many people gut their fish right on the beach.

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