Almost every day during king salmon season, 65-year-old Dan Maher is at his favorite fishing spot along Ship Creek.
“I call it my dry bar because we come down here and have a good time and chat and swap lies,” Maher said.
It’s been that way for 15 years.
But Maher would be the first to admit that fishing during the early run at Ship Creek this year is less than ideal.
In all the hours spent with his line in the water, Maher has caught only one king and it was small at best.
“Fishing is great, catching is poor,” Maher said. ”There’s just been very few fish caught here.”
Still there are kings, and Ship Creek is one of the only places people are allowed to catch them.
Biologists say people may soon have a better chance.
“This year king salmon fishing has been better then it has in quit a few years,” said Dan Bosch, fishery biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
That’s because Ship Creek is 100 percent stocked with fish from the hatchery at Elmendorf.
Most of the fish running up Ship Creek have been out in the ocean for two years. They are the ones coming back from the first stocking from the new hatchery.
“Hopefully that will translate into a big strong class of 3-year-olds next year and a few 4-year-olds after that,” Bosch said.
Fish and Game says it will take a few years before fishing here is even close to what it once was.
It’s a waiting game and all these fishermen need now is bit of luck.