The banks along the Kenai River are eroding rapidly. King fry live in the river for three years before heading out to the ocean. They have to live under the overhang for protection from predators; water temperature is cooler and they’re safe from being swept away. Without an overhang to live under they will die. When the bank erodes, the falling dirt smothers the fish eggs and kills them. The run-off from lawn chemicals causes pollution to the river, that also kills salmon eggs. All natural vegetation is crucial for king survival. As a river watch volunteer I have gone to Moose Range Meadows several times this last week. We have fencing put up to keep people off the bank, three times in one week, it’s been cut to pieces and the banks are literally falling in. They are getting thrashed by coolers, nets, gear and foot traffic. Most people have no clue what the river banks provide. The Kenai River continues to widen and less areas for the king fry to survive.
When you fish, either fish in the water or only in designated areas, and stay off the banks. For the local folks who care about our rivers, sign up to be a streamwatch volunteer, if we don’t help to protect our river then who will? Sign up here: http://www.kenaiwatershed.org/streamwatch.html or check them out on Facebook.