If you’re in Anchorage or the Valley and want to go dipnetting a little closer to home, you’re in luck: Fish Creek opened Wednesday. It’s the first time since 2015 salmon numbers have been high enough for the fishery to open.

Fish Creek only opens by emergency order once Fish and Game projects a certain escapement goal will be met. Recently, the Board of Fish lowered the escapement goal from 50,000 to 35,000. By the end of the day Tuesday, 17,433 salmon had passed up the creek, which was enough to trigger the opening.

“We found production can withstand an adjusted escapement goal so that goal was adjusted and then that trigger was adjusted accordingly,” said Tom Vania, regional supervisor for the Division of Sport Fish region 2.

Vania said the run has been slow, with only 400 fish counted all day Tuesday.

“When you have only 400 a day go by, it’s not going to be hot and heavy fishing,” he said.

Still, many dipnetters hit the water first thing Wednesday, among them Devon Roe from Anchorage.

“It was pretty busy this morning, pretty shoulder to shoulder but it cleaned out after high tide,” said Roe. “We were planning on going down to the Kenai but once we heard this opened up, it’s a lot closer.”

He stood in the water for hours, only landing one salmon.

“It’s always good to have that first one hit, especially after sitting out here for so long,” said Roe.

According to Vania, the run is about half way over. Dipnetting on Fish Creek runs from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. through July 31. You must have a resident sport fishing license and an Upper Cook Inlet personal use fisheries permit.

Fish Creek is off Knik Goose Bay Road in Wasilla.

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