folk music and fish harvesting

On Friday, a couple friends and I drove up to Talkeetna for a truly intimate concert experience held in a cabin in the woods. Whole Wheat Radio is an independent, online radio station that Jim Kloss runs year-round. We've seen a couple pretty special shows there in the last year--one being Antje Duvekot on a cold night in November and the other was just this past Friday--the poetic Meg Hutchinson.

The next day I headed down to the mouth of the Kenai River to do a bit of dip-netting. Only Alaskan residents can participate in this personal-use fishery. The limit is 25 sockeye (red salmon) per individual. It's a great opportunity to harvest your own meat and it just so happens to be some of the best food in the world.

I caught 21 fish in 3 hours or so. There were just surges of fish pouring through the mouth of the river. A couple friends arrived and we spent the night camped out on the beach. The following morning we awoke and spent the day dipping. I caught the last few allowed on my permit pretty quickly and spent the rest of the day enjoying the family atmosphere surrounding the temporary community of fishermen camped on the beach as many awaited the passing of the incoming tide and the 5 foot waves it brought (along with the wind). A few brave souls ventured into the surf to dip but I didn't see many fish coming out of that mess--just some interesting imagery. Here's an homage to them in photographs:

Eventually, the water calmed down and my friend Leit was able to harvest most of the fish allotted on his permit.

On the way home I got to thinking about the beauty of the whole dip-netting process and how it represents supply in our lives. To be able to gather your own salmon meat to freeze and last through the winter is a special treat. I'm really grateful to be able to take part in this fishery (as well as other local dip-net fisheries) and could probably single these occasions out as the ones I look most forward to each summer.


  1. Nate, your photos are just incredible! I love seeing your posts. Have fun back on the Kenai! Katie

  2. I am not usually a poster of comments but I have to say that I am absolutely in LOVE with these images of fishing. Excellent work.

  3. Love your fishing pics, especially of the 2 guys side by side. Leit looks exhausted! This looks like great fun - looking forward to doing it sometime.