The sockeye are here and the rush is on

Just as the sun rises and the river flows, so will anglers and dipnetters chase the Kenai River's famous late run sockeye salmon.

For the next few weeks, the Kenai Peninsula will be hopping with people from all around the state -- indeed, all around the world -- here to enjoy the sockeye run on the Kenai's beaches with a net or in the river with a rod and reel.

While it can be frustrating or uncomfortable to deal with the massive influx of cars and RVs on the roadways, people in the grocery store or local fishing holes filled with boots, we all need to take a deep breath.

The run can be enjoyed fully while also being safe and courteous.

The benefits from the sockeye run are many. Residents can enjoy an addition to the freezer for colder months, businesses can breathe a sigh of relief from a tough first and second quarter of the year and local municipalities will enjoy sales tax revenue to fund operations during the rest of the year. The run also heralds the start of many festivals, concerts and athletic events we look forward to during the long winter months.

Indeed the sockeye run is a great gift and we all benefit. But, it also come with its fair share of headaches.

When driving, remember to take a deep breath, count to ten and roll down the window for some fresh air. Getting frustrated or angry at traffic conditions won't help the situation, so be an example of how others should drive.

If you are heading to the beach to enjoy some dipnetting as well, remember to set an example and keep your campsite clean and be courteous to those around you.

For our out-of-towners, please remember that while you're not at home, you are in our backyard. So be courteous -- there is a lot of local planning and organization that goes into ensuring you have facilities and resources to enjoy the sockeye run.

But enough of that lecture. We've had a season of disappointing fishing news and now that we have some good news, it's time to get out of the house and enjoy the resource. It'll be over before you know it.

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