Why head out to Kenai for dipnet fishing when you can stay closer to home? The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says grab that gear because now you can officially dipnet at Fish Creek. 

ADF&G says they have met the escapement goal for the Fish Creek sockeye salmon run and projects a run of up to 35,000 fish. 

The creek, located off Knik Goose Bay Road in Wasilla, opened Tuesday at 6 a.m. and will remain open through 11 p.m. on July 31. Dipnetting for salmon, not kings, will be allowed between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. each day.

Any king that swims into your net must be released immediately. Officials say dipnetters may harvest salmon on the shore or a boat from the ADF&G markers located on both sides of the boundary of Fish Creek, upstream to ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately one-quarter mile upstream from Knik-Goose Bay Road.

ADF&G says if you plan to hit the water, make sure you know all the rules:

"This dipnet fishery is in conjunction with the Kenai and Kasilof rivers, and the total salmon household limits applies to a combination from all three fisheries. A 2018 Upper Cook Inlet dipnet permit and a resident sport fishing license is required and must be on you while dipnetting. Only Alaska residents may participate in this fishery. NO RETENTION of king salmon is allowed. Dip net permits are available at local ADF&G offices, ADF&G online store, and at participating vendors. Only one Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use permit is allowed per household and permits will not be reissued for a household that has already returned its permit to ADF&G."

ADF&G also reminds you to use caution and stay off of private land:

"The majority of property adjacent to Fish Creek downstream of the Knik-Goose Bay Road Bridge is privately owned. All of the property south of Fish Creek along Knik Arm is privately owned," ADF&G wrote. "Dipnetters trespassing across private property may be subject to a fine. Respect “no trespassing” signs. Permission to use private uplands for any reason must be obtained from the land owner. When accessing the mouth of Fish Creek, legal access is restricted to below the mean high tide line. Remember, all-terrain vehicles (four-wheelers) are not allowed in creeks or adjacent creekside property without a habitat permit. There is no launch for trailered boats from Knik-Goose Bay Rd. The nearest public boat launch for trailered boats is the Ship Creek boat launch in Anchorage. Dipnetters are advised to use extreme caution when fishing lower Fish Creek due to high tides and muddy conditions."

Dipnetting was supposed to open on Fish Creek last week, but due to low returns, it had to be postponed. 

For any questions, review the Fish Creek dip net regulations on page 15 of the Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet. For additional information, you can contact the ADF&G Palmer Office at (907) 746-6300.

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