If you are an avid sport, personal-use or commercial fisherman, there is an upcoming event that will afford you the opportunity to be heard by the Board of Fisheries on issues affecting the Kenai Peninsula and Upper Cook Inlet. Oral testimony will be taken on Wednesday, at the Soldotna Sports Center conference room beginning at 3 p.m. and continuing throughout the evening
The full Board of Fish meeting will be held in Anchorage Feb. 1-12, but since there are nearly 300 proposals up for consideration that affect peninsula fishermen, the board has determined it prudent to come to our area to gather public comment and information from local participants. If you can't afford the travel or work absence to attend the meeting in Anchorage, this is your chance to be heard.
Most fishermen feel there is something in the regulations that could be changed to improve their favorite fisheries. Our area, more than any other in the state, offers a diverse array of issues affecting our fishing success. These issues include allocation of fish between commercial and sport users, and between guided and unguided anglers. Crowding, what constitutes an acceptable fishing experience, economics, and habitat protection are also being widely debated. None of these issues are easily solved but what is common among them is the need for levelheaded thinking and public involvement to help find acceptable solutions
You can view all of the proposals and department comments on the Board of Fisheries Web site, http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/fishinfo. We encourage everyone interested in fishery issues to take advantage of this opportunity. Please remember that the board restricts testimony to three minutes so it is important that your testimony is well organized and concise. The board likes to hear personal experiences spoken from the heart so your testimony does not have to be specific to any particular proposal. However, it is important that you describe the problem and offer viable solutions.
Chairman, Kenai Area Fisherman's Coalition
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