Anchorage, (KTUU) For the past 29 years Linda Lampl has guided customers of B&J’s Sporting Goods to the right dipnetting gear.
“Education, making sure all of them wear life vests, life jackets that’s an absolute must,” said Lampl on the lower level of the story on Northern Lights Boulevard. The floor shows cracks in the concrete from the 1964 earthquake, “Now it’s starting again because Kenai opens Monday and this week has been crazy for me,” Lampl said.
The Kenai River personal use salmon dipnetting season begins July 10th and ends July 31st. The fishery is only open to Alaska residents and brings thousands of people to the Kenai River every summer.
“I keep seeing more and more families with children of all ages who are dip netting,” Lampl said.
Olando Alquiza was shopping for one of the hand-made dipnets made by Hard Wire Tackle with his son, “This is my first time [buying] a dip net on my own because I went last year and I enjoyed it,” Alquiza said. The store displays dipnets by the river they should be used at, each hand-tailored for their unique currents.
“Small net reduces drag but in the Kenai you want the water to flow freely because it’s slow,” Lampl told Alquiza. She steered Alquiza away from landing nets made with a black net. “The fish will literally go around the black net and into the clear one because the clear disappears in the water,” Lampl cautioned.
B&J’s Sporting Goods says it receives new dipnet deliveries every day to keep up with demand.
“Dip net season’s here and it’s crazy,” Lampl said.