It has been a warm freeze up season and the river ice took several days to become thick enough to safely walk on and set a fish net. We used to fish commercially in the fall, sending fish to some of the local North Slope villages as well as several dog mushers and a fish processer in the Fairbanks area. Our family ran the commercial operation for 56 years, but now it has been scaled down to one or two nets for a few fish for the family and pets.
Our winter catch is made up of Arctic Cisco, Least Cisco, and Hump-back Whitefish. Most run about a pound while some of the larger ones will go two and half pounds. All are white meat and very tasty.
Cisco's and Whitefish at net hole.
It didn’t take the Arctic Foxes long to smell fresh fish on the wind and within 20 minutes of picking my net yesterday the first fox showed up.
Before I finished I had two at the net site and they keep me entertained with their antics. They were a little shy at first and didn’t want to get to close, but they also didn’t want the other fox near the fish.
They would chase the other fox away and then dash back to the fish pile looking to grab a fish for themselves. They managed to get several fish each before I finished for the day and hauled my catch home. They each ate one fish right away then started carting fish off to bury for later.