Until approximately 10 years ago on the Kenai Peninsula, the Department of Fish and Game designated the days and area we could go to the beaches and set our nets for our fish. These were days when there would be no commercial fishing. Church groups would set their nets and fish for church members not able to fish for themselves. Families would gather, teach the children how to care for the family at the same time enjoy to process and be together as a family.
Then they changed the rules and sent everyone, including Anchorage, etc., to a very small area with a restricted time for everyone to get their fish. The crowding is extreme and with no facilities for such a crowd the property owners in that area are upset and you can’t blame them. There is fighting, drinking, arguments over fishing sites. We will not fish there, and if we had children would not take them into that environment.
Then you have dipnetting in Kenai. It takes hours to put your boat in and hours to get out. Plus the expense, $15 per launch. If the fish are not in you have to keep going back to fill your quota. The people from Anchorage and those who work do not have the option of going any time they want.
Yet even with all the problems, it is better than what they are proposing now. Which is place the river limit of three fish per day on dipnetters. For people who can their fish for the winter, smoke fish and freeze them, how are you going to process your fish three fish at a time?
All these changes seem to come at the urging of the commercial fishing industry. I do not understand why this is so, but it really seems to be the truth of it.
Why can’t we go back to the original way of setnetting of 10 years ago?
William and Leslie Perrigo
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