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Thread: Fish Creek

  1. #1
    Member TR's Avatar
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    Default Fish Creek

    Still very early and far below escapement goals but the wier counter graph is tracking the same as last year.

  2. #2
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Yes, it looks good at this point hopefully it will continue. I would like to go get some more fish this year.

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    Hopefully, the fishery at Fish Creek will again be open this year as it is only a few miles from home for me. HOWEVER, please keep in mind that F&G was in error as to what was private and what was public property last year and people were tearing down signs and trespassing on private property and making for some pretty angry owners. From Knik Goose Bay Road down to the mouth on the left side near the mouth there are signs and a fence and this is definitely private property and you are not welcome there by the owners, especially after the deliberate and damaging trespasses last year. I was one that was told by F&G that it was OK to be there, but it is not, and they now are aware of it. Many users are still not aware that there is private property right down to the bottom of the creek bed here, as well as there are some that just donít care. This is one of the very few areas in the state where high tide line does not mean it is public access, same with the creek bottom on the other side of the bridge. There is plenty or public access on both sides for us to use here without trespassing and destroying someoneís property. Granted, we sure donít have as much area to use as we did a few years ago and that is a shame, but if the deliberate trespass, mess, and tearing down of signs and fences continues, we wonít have a fishery here at all in the future. Please check it out if you doubt my word, keep it clean and respect the private property on both sides and we can keep what we have, otherwise we are going to lose it regardless of fish counts. Last year one of the property owners weighed in on this forum explaining the situation and I was pleasantly surprised how nice he was under the circumstances, but if people keep up the trespassing, he, and others wonít be nearly so understanding. I did check out his claims with the authorities and he was right, this area does have some unique property rights that do not pertain to most areas of the state.

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    Have not fished there in years. Was lots of fun last time we were there.

    Best memory I have was introducing a friend to dip netting. We got there at high tide and the water was even with the bank. As those of you who have been there know, the bank is really steep and pretty deep near the mouth. Well, my buddy was all gung ho and as I was getting my net together he decided to walk out into the water and start fishing. Out of the corner of my eye I see him take one step into the water and go straight down. I did not even have time to say a word before he was under water save his hat. Afterward, he said he was wondering why everyone else was not standing in the water.
    Just a bitter Alaskan clinging to his guns and religion.....

  5. #5
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    It still looks good they just had a 6000+ fish day yesterday. I am hopefull.

  6. #6
    Member TR's Avatar
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    Yep, I had fun there last year. Fish a bit old, but it was nice having a bonus dipping for the season.



  7. #7
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Actually I was surprized at how many were still nice last year. probably about half of the reds I caught were still bright, and only a few were completly turned.
    and with yesterdays 6900 fish we are still looking good.

  8. #8

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    uhldwm...

    Could you please post some of the unique property rights for this area and the source material you found?

    "I did check out his claims with the authorities and he was right, this area does have some unique property rights that do not pertain to most areas of the state."

    Thanks for your research

  9. #9
    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    I heard that it was a mess last year on the access, dippers need to respect the landowners property which some didn't. I know how it is for the landowner and guys not respecting their property. One bad apple can screw it up for the rest
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
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  10. #10
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    As was explained to me by the Troopers when I called some time ago, this area was developed before statehood and the high water mark didn't apply back then, so property owners do own the property rights right down to creek bottom. Best I can advise you as to authentication, other than checking with a land attorney or long established Realtor, is maybe a check of the forum files back a year ago will bring up the correspondence with one of the property owners, or they will weigh in again shortly. I am going by what I was told by the Troopers and really don't care to cross swards with them, so am taking their word for things here. At first the Troopers had told people, I was one of them, it was OK to net all the way down to the mouth looking from KGB road on the left side, but when the property owner started to complain about rude trespass, they looked into it and revised their statements. The Regs. Book is confusing as it shows the area in question to be open, and it is if you are in a boat, but not on shore in this section. The area on the left side where the fence is does have signs there, so it is pretty obvious, and there is plenty of area to net down to that point, so it really isn't that much of an inconvenience. On the right side, we used to access the inlet by walking down the power line, but some years back the property was sold and a house built on it with a fence closing off that access. This does make it more difficult to get down to the inlet on that side by entering on the KGB side up from that property, but people seemed to be able to do it last year although I stayed on the right side myself. Some government entity sure screwed up the area when they went in and took out the pool where the culverts used to be under KGB road, and that is a shame, but just one more example of poor government planning, unless there was some specific reason they didn't want us fishing there.

    I remember old timers telling me that years ago the runs were so heavy you could darned near walk across the backs of the fish from side to side at the height of the run. I have seen it so poor here is was a waste of time to even bother, and other times, with better regulation of God knows what, that they allowed substance (personal use) set-netting right in this same area. All this proves to me that with proper regulation a dramatic affect can be made on this run. As to who this helps and who it hurts user- wise, I would touch that subject with a 10' pole as it is a no win discussion and I sure don't have all the answers anyway, all I can do is tell you what I have seen in this area since 1977.



    It all boils down to, if you see a sign, or a fence that says, or indicates private property, or no trespassing, just go elsewhere, there is plenty of room if we don't get far more crowds than we had last year. However, if we become obnoxious, we will see this area closed permanently just as they did with legal snagging here years back.

  11. #11
    Member Have Gun Will Travel's Avatar
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    Default Fish Creek Dipping

    Current escapement numbers in Fish Creek are such that an emergency opening is likely forthcoming (over 11,000 through weir yesterday alone). If, and when, the dipping opens, good luck to all....

    I am the landowner on north side of Fish Creek. For those interested, I'm re-posting last year's lengthy reply regarding treaspass issues on the Creek (Also, I'm attaching a couple photos from last year):


    Unique Land Issues on Fish Creek Private Property
    I am the owner of the 4.5 acres at Fish Creek mouth, north side. There are some unique land issues that all Fish Creek dippers should be aware of before making a trek downstream.

    From my point of view as a landowner, there are two issues that need to be resolved to prevent conflicts at Fish Creek. The first deals with my legal liability with having dippers on our private land. Here is some background: our property deed at Fish Creek is pre-statehood (very unique) and according to lawyer specializing in land issues, our property boundary actually ends at mid-creek. Furthermore, because of this there are inherant liability issues with anyone having their feet on that ground, regardless of how they got there. There is, of course, always legal access via the Fish Creek water, but when one is on shore (even if below mean high tide mark) there are associated liability issues to any landowner with pre-statehood deeds. Some of the private parcels along Fish Creek have this unique feature. ADFG has confirmed this in the past when the dipping was annually open--this is why ADFG had bought official signs for my father-in-law's property to post on his land in past years. I do not want to prevent people from dipping in Fish Creek, but I don't want to be sued, either. I do not have nor cannot afford liability insurance for non-family dippers. Because of this reason alone, since I now have title to this property I cannot willingly allow anyone and everyone to fish from our land.

    The second issue deals with access and people crossing or being on private land without permission. I do not want to sit at our property boundary and explain to all coming down the creek that they are crossing private property signs and that they cannot legally be there. I don't want to play that role, nor get into the consequent arguments, and potentially dangerous confrontations. I cannot allow people to cross our land, nor use our land for a restroom, or a cleaning station, or a place to park their young unattended children--even if liability was not an issue! All and any legal access routes to Fish Creek need to be made clear to dippers, either through the fishing regs, or some other mechanism. Incidenely, by the time dippers have reached our property line, they have already crossed over two other private property parcels--both of which had been posted in the past when Fish Creek dipping was an annuual event, but since Fish Creek dipping hasn't happened in recent years, none of the old postings on these properites were apparent.

    To prevent any confusion over the next few days, I have constructed (last night after the atv's had left our property after 11 pm) a temporary fence to prevent access on the new "trail" through our property. I also posted a bunch of signs on our property near mean high tide on the creek and along the temporary fence. Since an Alaskan Trooper had told all the people down there yesterday (Saturday opener) that it was alright to be on our property, I individually tried to explain to all of the fishermen that the Trooper was misinformed about who owned our land (he mistakingly thought it was part of the Land Trust--used to be owned by state for fish counting station), and that beginning today (Sunday) we would have to post our property and deny access on the trail that had been made through our property that day. Most of the people I spoke with were understanding (nonetheless disappointed) and many were apologetic about being on private land. I did not request anyone to leave our property yesterday because of the confusion given by our State Trooper(s).

    When annual scheduled dipping in Fish Creek was allowed many years ago (believe it was about a dozen years ago), most people accessed the mouth of Fish Creek on the south side; they did this by coming down the powerline. I believe one of the local land owners near there had even established a parking lot and was charging people to park. At present, I believe there is an Anchorage contractor/developer that has posted that powerline access. I am not sure if there is any legal access on that side of the creek any longer. On our north side, there are four private parcels coming up from the mouth of Fish Creek that had been posted in the past and do have the same liability issues described earlier. Our parcel is the last one of the four. One can easily check out the MSB property maps (available online) to verify ownership and location (maps are not always totally accurate, but do generally show accurate property lines) of any parcel in the Mat-Su Borough.

    I do not have any perfect solutions, but would offer the following thoughts: The Troopers involved with enforcement at Fish Creek should be better informed with access issues and should certainly not be giving people incorrect information! As mentioned earlier, some state entity should be responsible to provide legal easements to fishermen, so that there is no question about how to access a fishery and end the second guessing about legal land issues that many feel they are experts at. I feel Fish Creek is a fishery that should be harvested in some manner by non-commercial fishermen (i.e. sport, personal use, etc.). The current management of Fish Creek needs to be planned and distributed more carefully and fairly! Clear and more reliable opening dates would certainly help (what is in place now is unrealistic and totally unachievable without major commercial closures, like happened this year). Perhaps a boat only fishery for the privately owned section of the creek or restricting shore dippers to designated (marked) and legally accessible areas would work better.

    I do not advocate in any way shape or manner shutting down or locking out any Fish Creek dippers. However, I have to safeguard my property and protect my family from any potential lawsuit--I know, it's a sad world we all live in, but it's reality that cannot be ignored! So, with that said, I apologize beforehand for any inconveniences to my having to fence our property. I wish everyone dipping at Fish Creek this year well and hope your dipping is successful.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Member Have Gun Will Travel's Avatar
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    Default Couple more photos from last year's dipping

    Photos show the "new trail" that was created on our property last year and the "ugly fence" I felt required to put up after first day's dipping in order to keep atv's from doing further damage. I needed to be physically present on our property each day that dipping was open last year just to insure that our property was not being damaged/vandalized. Any landowner anywhere can have serious liability issues if their property is not legally posted and enforced. I don't like it one bit, but have to do what I need to do....

    Thanks to nearly all of the dippers who understand and respect property rights/issues of Fish Creek landowners.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Havegunwilltravel, Tis a shame that it has come to this, for you and for all dippers. I am with the South Central Alaska dipnetters association and am offering my carpenter skills if you need help building some sort of barrier. Just thought I would let you know. Ken f SCADA
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  14. #14
    Member fishak's Avatar
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    where is fish creek anywase?

  15. #15
    Member Lake creek fishermen's Avatar
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    Down knik goosebay rd. Just go to the creek, walk downstream and fish the tides
    -Its better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
    -Put some excitment between your legs, ride a polaris!
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  16. #16
    Member fishak's Avatar
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    never been down that way. is it a hike from where you park to where the mouth is? is it the same as kenai where you stand there with a 5 foot net and wait? thanks for all the help, im new to dipping outside of the kenai

  17. #17
    Member Lake creek fishermen's Avatar
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    Was wondering if you can do this out in the mouth with a boat? And could it be a 2 stroke?
    -Its better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
    -Put some excitment between your legs, ride a polaris!
    -Local 907 Riders Union
    http://www.youtube.com/user/AKMackdaddy?feature=mhee

  18. #18
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    It's not too far, but not level ground. Very muddy, like Ship creek once you make your way past the clear water just below the bridge.

  19. #19
    Member Lake creek fishermen's Avatar
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    Okay thanks, coulda swore people did that last year lol. Well i dont really wanna dip and fish since i dont like shore dipping but i might have to this year
    -Its better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
    -Put some excitment between your legs, ride a polaris!
    -Local 907 Riders Union
    http://www.youtube.com/user/AKMackdaddy?feature=mhee

  20. #20
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    I'm not too sure. It is a small creek, I saw a canoe and inflatable there last year.

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