Alaska Fish Harvest

Just got back from dipnetting on the Kenai River.  We got 72 for 4 of us, which is the lowest in 3 years but still pretty darn good.  Keith had taken two trips for single digits days before, and the fish just hit the river a tide or two before we went so we lucked out.  I had to go from Anchorage to Cordova before heading to Juneau, so I rented a vac packer in Anchorage from Alaska Butcher supply and it worked great to fillet and pack the fish at Todd’s and put them in his work freezer until Sara goes up in a few weeks and can bring them back.     I went out on a boat in southwest Prince William Sound for several days, and when we weren’t working, we caught some rockfish.  A school of coho came in under the boat when we were at anchor and we got several of those mooching with salmon flashabou hootchies and flies on a banana sinker. As we were checking a string of shrimp pots, we caught squat for shrimp in the first 3 pots clipped to the long line. I could see the 4th pot coming up and a flash of white around it I thought might be an octopus.  When it got to the surface, up popped the head of a 100 lb halibut.  From the looks of it, the fish was caught on an (illegal) three hook sport fishing set up, and broke off.  When he went sniffing around the shrimp pot bait, one of the two free hooks not in his mouth got caught on the shrimp pot. I got in last night and Kurt picked me up as Sara is still south playing.  He said fishing was good here, and he got a big king salmon, too.  I vac packed fish in the evening and dropped off salmon fillets at the fish smoker this morning.  Lorraine and Michelle said they took their kids fishing here over the weekend and got 9 coho.   Sounds like a decent year for salmon in most of Alaska, although our local Taku River sockeye return is not so hot.  Maybe the fish are late like they were in Bristol Bay. –