New ferry dock should benefit Kenai River anglers

Posted: Friday, March 24, 2000

KENAI (AP) -- A new dock for the Russian River ferry should also benefit anglers on the Kenai River, according to the manager of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

The ferry, which carries a couple hundred thousand passengers a year, is in the heart of what is popularly known as the 'combat fishing' area, where 50,000 to 60,000 anglers are known to visit in one summer.

''The underlying foundation of the dock has deteriorated significantly since it was installed in the 1960s and there were concerns for the safety of the ferry users and operators,'' Robin West said. ''The cooperative agreement with Kenai River Sportfishing Association Inc. will allow us to replace the dock and also perform bank restoration upstream of the dock.''

West said the plan is to have the work completed by Memorial Day.

While the cost of the new dock is undetermined because the contract has not been awarded yet, the anglers association will pay for half of it, he said.

There are two segments to the project. One is replacing the old dock and the other is doing bank restoration around it.

Kelly Wolf, director of the Youth Restoration Corps, a group that restores riverbanks and trails on the Kenai Peninsula and Susitna River, also is eager to see the work finished. Wolf's group has a restoration project on the other side of the river and needs the ferry to transfer 40 yards of soil there.

The dock will be owned by the refuge, but the ferry facility still will be operated by a contract vendor.

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