Jim's Landing closes for bank repair

Posted: Monday, April 07, 2003

A popular upper Kenai River haul-out spot for drift fishers and rafters is closed for repairs.

Jim's Landing, at approximately river Mile 70 within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, will be temporarily closed to the public until work is finished repairing a section of bank eroded by flooding last fall.

According to refuge su-pervising park ranger Bill Kent, the flooding damaged a portion of bank that previously had been restored in 1996.

"Part of the bank was undercut severely," Kent said Thursday.

He said he believes the project likely will take four to six weeks to complete.

In a press release announcing Wednesday's closure, refuge manager Robin West said some recreational boaters may be inconvenienced by the closure.

"The temporary closure of this popular take-out on the upper Kenai River during construction will be inconvenient to some, but the work is being timed the best it can be to avoid interruptions during the fishing season," West said.

The landing is the last take-out point for boaters before reaching Skilak Lake. Kent said the refuge will work with anyone on the river to ensure they're aware of the closure.

"We're trying to make provisions for folks who do float the river," he said.

Kent said the best thing for boaters to do would be to pull out at Sportsman's Landing, about 4 miles upstream from Jim's. He said he believes the work will not have a serious impact on recreational use, as fishing in much of the upper river is closed until June.

"Hopefully, we'll be done by the time fishing starts up again," he said.

The restoration work will be done by Moore's Landscaping of Kenai, which has worked on previous projects for the refuge. Funding for the project comes from a Challenger Cost Share Agreement with Kenai River Sportfishing Association Inc. and the Alaska Flyfishers.

West praised the fishing groups for their support of the restoration project, which will improve fish habitat and prevent further erosion of the road leading to Jim's Landing.

"The willingness of these organizations to assist with this project is an excellent example of private and agency cooperation," West said.

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