Since 1982, the Rogotzke family has been making their way up to the Bristol Bay in Alaska for salmon fishing. After following in his brothers footsteps, Dave Rogotzke purchased a boat and fishing permit with the help of his father. Years later, Dave’s three children have grown to love the job, and are now part of the family crew, traveling up to Alaska each summer to fish.
In the Bristol Bay, salmon are found where fresh water and salt water meet. Still fishing in their original spot, the Rogotzke’s use a technique called gillnetting. This involves essentially creating a net wall that the salmon will swim into and get stuck.
Alaskan Salmon spawn the same time each year, and being creatures of habit, return to the stream they were originally from. Salmon travel thousands of miles throughout their life, and always return to the gravel beds they initially emerged from. Sockeye salmon fry remain in the streams and lakes for 1-2 years before heading to sea to mature.
According to Dave, salmon fishing is highly regulated from the boat to the equipment and practices to sustain a healthy salmon population. Biologists watch the population closely and do not open the fishing season in mid-June until they are sure that the fish have traveled to the bay. The season is short, only about 1 month.