Dip Netting

A Brief History

In March 1996, the Board of Fisheries amended the Cook Inlet Personal Use Salmon Management Plan by liberalizing it and establishing a personal use fishery season for Alaska residents. The dipnet season is currently…

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July 10 through July 31 and requires a personal use fishery permit. Please familiarize yourself with current permit requirements and regulations, which may be found in the fishing regulation booklet published by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Sport Fish. Permits may be obtained at most local vendors that sell sport fishing licenses.

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Dip Netting

July 10 marks the beginning of dip netting season for Alaskan residents. To dip net, anglers stand in the mouth of the Kenai River holding large nets with long handles. Dip netting is open to Alaska residents exclusively.  For visitors, the dip netting is a spectator sport not to be missed!

Dip Net Fishing Tips

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Stay off the dunes — Do not camp, walk, drive cars or 4-wheelers, or otherwise disturb the fragile dunes.  Foot access is only through established footpaths and walkways.  The vegetation anchors the dunes, which in turn anchor the river beds.  The dunes help prevent flooding and erosion and provide habitat for birds and animals.

Driving on the beach — To protect the fragile dunes, do not drive your car or ATV above the high tide mark.  Local land managers may have vehicle access restrictions.

Fires — No open fires are allowed within 25 feet of any vegetation.  Open fires are permitted only in established campgrounds or on the beach below the high tide line.

Pack out trash — Refuse service may not be available.  Please pack out your own trash.

Use common sense!  The water is very cold, and the banks can be very muddy.  Dress in layers to stay warm and bring a dry change of clothing.

Tidal currents can be fast! If you are shore fishing, we suggest you wear a life jacket or have floatation readily available.  The tides are very strong and can create unexpected hazards.

See also, Cook Inlet Personal Use Fisheries website, and Kenai/ Kasilof Dipnetting Hotline (907) 267-2512.

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Dip Netting Safety Tips

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  • Cook Inlet water is cold and tidal influences severe and many of its bank areas are muddy. A life jacket and extra clothing are always sound advice. ALWAYS keep watch of children at all times.
  • Extreme caution must be exercised while traveling the beach – four-wheel drive trucks or all-terrain vehicles are generally required. The sand is very soft (especially at beach access points) and high tides can be very unforgiving. ALWAYS check the tide table before venturing onto the beach.
  • ALWAYS use approved beach access points.
  • ALWAYS keep valuables properly secured and protected.
  • Bears have been known to occasionally visit the north shore area. ALWAYS keep your area clean and free of debris and litter. Please return all fish waste to the ocean – do not place in dumpsters.

Familiarize yourself with motor & boat regulations affecting the Kenai River Special Management Area and the Dip Net Fishery.

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Environmental & Social Impacts

A significant increase in participation of this fishery has caused environmental and social issues such as litter problems, trespassing on private property, destruction of vegetated areas, fish waste on the beach, fire safety issues, and life safety issues. The City of Kenai, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game’s Sport Fishing Division, the Alaska Department of Public Safety’s Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Kenai River Sport Fishing Association, Inc. (KRSA), and the Kenai Peninsula Borough have been working cooperatively to address these issues.

Kenai North Shore

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Primary access is from South Spruce Street off the Kenai Spur Highway. The City of Kenai has provided a large public parking area. Space is limited.

Parking at the Kenai Little League complex (South Spruce Street) is for Little League participants only unless opened for overflow parking (fees apply).

Motorized vehicle access on the beach to the left of South Spruce Street going toward mouth of river is prohibited. Vehicular access, parking & fires on beach to the right of South Spruce Street (towards Nikiski) is permitted. Fires are prohibited beyond South Forest Drive as indicated by signage.

Designated one-hour free parking is provided for general recreational users not participating in the dip net fishery. Parking passes must be obtained from the shack attendant and displayed on dashboard of vehicle. Use designated parking spaces only (limited in number). If the one-hour spaces are occupied and you wish to park in the parking lot, you must pay the $20 Day Use parking fee.

Drop Off:
The drop off permit is available at all of the locations. The price is $10 per calendar day to drop off or pick up participants in the personal use fishery. You may operate 1 vehicle within the personal use fishery fee areas with a single drop off permit. You may park your vehicle for up to 15 minutes while you load or unload. These permits are valid at all locations. You may upgrade a drop off permit to any other permit in the same calendar day and recieve $10 credit towards the new permit.

Day Use Parking:
Day use parking is available at all of the locations between 5:00am and 12:00am. The price is $20 per calendar day. If you arrive before 5:00am you will be required to purchase overnight parking. If you purchase a day use parking permit at 5:00am you will get 19 hours of parking for $20. If you purchase a day use parking permit at 9:00pm you will get 3 hours of parking for $20. You may park 1 vehicle within the personal use fishery fee areas with a single day use parking permit. These permits are valid at all locations.

Overnight Parking:
Overnight parking is available at all of the locations except the dock. The price is $45 and is valid from noon until noon the following day. If you arrive before noon, the price will be $55 for the first day and $45 for each additional day. If you arrive at 1:00am you will pay $55 and get 35 hours of parking. If you arrive at 9:00pm you will pay $45 and get 15 hours of parking. You may park 1 vehicle within the personal use fishery fee areas with a single day use parking permit. Also included in overnight parking is 1 camping spot in designated areas, which cannot exceed a 10 foot by 10 foot area. These permits are valid at either beach location or in the overflow parking areas.

Camping:
Camping is available at all of the locations except the dock. The price is $25 and is valid from noon until noon the following day. If you arrive at 1:00am you will pay $25 and the permit will expire at noon of the same day. If you wish to remain until the following day you would need to purchase 2 days of camping. The camping spot cannot exceed a 10 foot by 10 foot area. Parking is not included with camping.

Dock Boat Launch:
Boat launch and parking is available at the dock. The price is $35 and is valid until midnight on the day that it is issued. You get 1 boat launch and retrieval, and 1 parking spot for 1 vehicle and 1 trailer. If you arrive at 5:00am you will pay $35 and get 19 hours of parking. If you arrive at 6:00pm you will pay $35 and get 6 hours of parking. If you launch on one day and wish to retrieve at a later date this will be permitted, but parking is limited to the day it was issued.

Protect the beach!
The City of Kenai has provided trash-only dumpsters and restrooms for your convenience. Both are serviced daily and have limited capacity; please pack out what you pack in and do not place fish debris in dumpsters or clean your fish in parking lot. Throw you fish waste into the ocean or place in one of the fish containers provided on the beach. Littering ordinances will be enforced, including burying refuse in the sand and deliberately discarding fish waste onto the beach and surrounding areas.

Kenai Avenue (beach road near the parking area) is for five-minute loading and unloading only. Since this road is so narrow, campers, buses, vehicles over 20 feet or those pulling trailers are not allowed. Do not block vehicular access or access to portable restrooms and dumpsters. Unattended vehicles will be towed and owners fined.

Protect the dunes!
Ground fires, motorized vehicles, and foot traffic are prohibited on the vegetated dunes. Use the two designated walkways along Kenai Avenue or the beach below the high water mark. The dunes anchor the mouth of the river and prevent flooding and erosion. They also provide valuable habitat for shorebirds and other waterfowl. Trespassing on protected areas is punishable up to $500.

Fires: Warning, fires are permitted to a point
Perpendicular with South Forest Drive. Ground fires must stay at least 25 feet from any vegetation. Please clean up the area, ensure fire is completely out, and haul out any debris before leaving area. Do not burn trash.

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Kenai South Beach

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Primary access is Dunes Road off Cannery Loop Road. A fee station is provided at this location and on Old Cannery Road. Again, if the fee station attendant is not available, you must self-pay at the fee collection box provided. Small public parking lot is located on Dunes Road (no overnight camping) and the adjoining property is privately owned. Please respect private property! Parking is allowed on Old Cannery Road along one side. The surrounding property is also privately owned. Remember… your paid parking receipt must be on the dashboard of your vehicle and paid camping receipt attached to your tent ($20 parking & $25 camping). If setting up a tent on the beach, please place it as close to your vehicle as possible.

Drop Off:
The drop off permit is available at all of the locations. The price is $10 per calendar day to drop off or pick up participants in the personal use fishery. You may operate 1 vehicle within the personal use fishery fee areas with a single drop off permit. You may park your vehicle for up to 15 minutes while you load or unload. These permits are valid at all locations. You may upgrade a drop off permit to any other permit in the same calendar day and recieve $10 credit towards the new permit.

Day Use Parking:
Day use parking is available at all of the locations between 5:00am and 12:00am. The price is $20 per calendar day. If you arrive before 5:00am you will be required to purchase overnight parking. If you purchase a day use parking permit at 5:00am you will get 19 hours of parking for $20. If you purchase a day use parking permit at 9:00pm you will get 3 hours of parking for $20. You may park 1 vehicle within the personal use fishery fee areas with a single day use parking permit. These permits are valid at all locations.

Overnight Parking:
Overnight parking is available at all of the locations except the dock. The price is $45 and is valid from noon until noon the following day. If you arrive before noon, the price will be $55 for the first day and $45 for each additional day. If you arrive at 1:00am you will pay $55 and get 35 hours of parking. If you arrive at 9:00pm you will pay $45 and get 15 hours of parking. You may park 1 vehicle within the personal use fishery fee areas with a single day use parking permit. Also included in overnight parking is 1 camping spot in designated areas, which cannot exceed a 10 foot by 10 foot area. These permits are valid at either beach location or in the overflow parking areas.

Camping:
Camping is available at all of the locations except the dock. The price is $25 and is valid from noon until noon the following day. If you arrive at 1:00am you will pay $25 and the permit will expire at noon of the same day. If you wish to remain until the following day you would need to purchase 2 days of camping. The camping spot cannot exceed a 10 foot by 10 foot area. Parking is not included with camping.

Dock Boat Launch:
Boat launch and parking is available at the dock. The price is $35 and is valid until midnight on the day that it is issued. You get 1 boat launch and retrieval, and 1 parking spot for 1 vehicle and 1 trailer. If you arrive at 5:00am you will pay $35 and get 19 hours of parking. If you arrive at 6:00pm you will pay $35 and get 6 hours of parking. If you launch on one day and wish to retrieve at a later date this will be permitted, but parking is limited to the day it was issued.

Traveling on the beach

Access onto the beach requires use of a four-wheel drive or all-terrain vehicle (approximately three miles to the mouth of river). Extreme caution must be exercised due to soft sand and unforgiving tides. protect the dunes and vegetative areas by driving  (including ATV’s) below the high tide mark. The vegetative areas on the Kenai South Shore provide valuable habitat for shorebirds and other waterfowl.

Restrooms/Dumpsters

Restrooms and dumpsters are limited but are serviced daily. Use the restrooms provided and practice “pack-it-in, pack-it-out” standards as much as possible to keep the beach clean.

Kenai Dock Facility

Access to the Kenai Boating Facility is from Boat Launch Road. There is a one-way exit road to leave the facility. A large public parking area is provided; however, parking is limited. Overflow parking is located off the exit road.

Dock Day Use Parking

Dock Day Use parking is available at the dock. The price is $15 and is valid until midnight on the day it is issued. If you arrive at 5:00am you will pay $15 and get 19 hours of parking. If you arrive at 6:00pm you will pay $15 and get 6 hours of parking. You may park 1 car or truck, 1 motorhome, 1 motorcycle, or up to 2 ATVs in a parking spot.

 

 

 

Launching

  • Pay attendant or fill out pay envelope (located at top of ramp) and deposit fee into collection box while waiting in line. Display receipt on vehicle dashboard. During peak fishing periods, vehicular traffic may become backed up and wait time can exceed two hours or more.
  • Load gear into your vessel before you reach the ramp so that you can get in and out as quickly as possible. Do not block ramp or leave boat unattended on the launch ramp floats at any time. Unattended boats will be impounded.

Retrieval

A companion can be dropped off at the ramp floats so he/she can get the trailer. While waiting for your trailer, you can tie your boat to one of four white (with blue stripes) buoys in front of dock or motor around until you see your trailer coming down the ramp. Do not tie up at the concrete dock floats since these floats are for business use only. Do not cut in line when retrieving your boat – go to the back of the line.

Miscellaneous

  • No cleaning fish or cutting tails on any float or at the Kenai Boating Facility.
  • Unleaded and diesel fuel are for sale at the City dock during working hours posted at the dock office.
  • No overnight camping.
  • During commercial fish openings, commercial vessels will temporarily have the right-of-way at the boat ramp.
  • When the tide is low, launching is not possible; therefore, the line for launching comes to a halt until the tide rises.

 

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