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Are silver salmon next?

Posted: June 27, 2012 - 9:08am

My guess is, the silvers will be the next species of fish to bottom out in the Kenai River. More and more cabins are being built along the river and riverfront lots are being cleared right down to the river bank along the riparian zone with no respect for the 50 foot Borough setback ordinance. There is almost no zoning and mediocre enforcement of the Borough 50 foot setback corridor ordinance. Just look at the River Quest subdivision and you'll see total destruction of valuable riprian habitat. This habitat is important to the well-being of the river ecosystem and survival of the fish species.

Have you been on the Kenai River fishing silvers in August during the last couple of years? It is almost as crowded as fishing kings in July. Most anglers (both guided and non-guided) are "party fishing" with everyone keeping their line in the water until the entire boat gets a limit of fish. Although the regulations state a 2-fish limit per person, not many seem to abide by this regulation. Lack of enforcement of the regulations over the years have promoted this illegal activity to be an accepted standard on the river.

There is no effective law enforcement on the Kenai River. I have not seen a State Fish and Wildlife Trooper on the river in several years. State Park Rangers do some patrolling, but they have a lot of area to cover with few personnel.

Some locals still claim to have proxies and catch limits of fish for others who are not even on the boat. This system is outdated, abused and should be eliminated.

The survival of a healthy Kenai River ecosystem and fish species depends on good ethical conservation practices on and along the river banks. Should we be building cabins along the river where there is no means for construction of proper septic systems? Should the Borough initiate a study to construct a modern sewage waste and disposal system along ther river? These are all questions that the Borough Assembly, Chamber of Commerce and other officials should be asking now, not later. The local economy depends on a healthy and viable Kenai River renewable fishery resource. When the fish are gone, the local economy will suffer.

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northernlights 06/27/12 - 05:25 pm
Good article

Your absolutley right, but will any of the property owners care? Very few is my guess. River banks have, or rather must be healthy in order for the fry to live. When the river banks are destroyed so are the fish. I know we dont have enough law enforcement, Alaska is huge and its getting destroyed little by little. I hate standing by and not being able to do anything. I beleive in enforcement, we need alot more enforcement, make these people obey the laws in order to protect our fish. Greed is so ugly, its blind to itself, never has enough. It takes what it can get now, to hell with the future. Silvers used to be in abunance in the Kenai, they no longer are, and yes they are getting fished out along with the banks getting detroyed. Most guides that do not live here could care less, again its the greed, take it while you can before its all gone. Angers me, we need deputies signed in for the summer to enforce the wrecklessness.

radiokenai 07/06/12 - 07:41 am
My 2 cents

Close the damn river down completly. This will send a message to the suckers in the lower 48 who dream of catching the BIG ONE that Guides have cavitated the river!

Once the news is out the river is closed, pukers won't waste their money coming up here...then the fish stock will rise.

Maybe then local residents can fish once again?

I am GLAD the Kings are down!

Save your money tourist, there is no more fish here!

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