More of the story on sockeye enhancement at Bear Creek
After reading Gary Lindstrom's letter to the editor in Wednesday's Clarion ("Hatchery operation benefits only commercial fishermen"), I decided to call the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for a few facts. I found out that he had also called the department for a few facts, but, for some reason, chose to not use them. So, I thought I would help out.
Sockeye enhancement at Bear Creek on Tustumena Lake is not news to this community. This project has been in place for nearly 30 years. Less than 10 percent of sockeye returning to Bear Creek are enhanced stocks. While Bear Creek could produce more sockeye, the level of enhancement is held low so as not to influence Kasilof sockeye management. Natural sockeye returns to the Kasilof River, including the enhanced 10 percent, do not benefit only commercial fishermen. In 1999, the Kasilof personal-use gillnet fishery harvested around 11,000 sockeye, and the dipnet fishery harvested another 33,000 (10 percent enhanced). The sport fishermen that have been lined up elbow to elbow just above the Kasilof River bridge are also fishing for sockeye.
For those determined to make an issue of enhancement within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge boundaries, you should note that enhanced Kasilof River kings originate from the upper Kasilof River (within the refuge) and those returning to spawn in Crooked Creek are also returning to refuge boundaries.
Gary Lindstrom does not help anyone, including his fellow Kenai River guides, with his self-serving propaganda. Anyone can call the Department of Fish and Game or the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Assn. for truthful information.
Jet Skis should be banned on Alaska's small lakes
Four Jet Skis (it seemed like 40) roared for hours on Sports Lake Monday night. One circled the almost round lake while emitting a constant gas engine/waterjet sucking rumble. Another driver hopped, spun, jumped and flew over his own wake. The rapid change in rpms makes one wonder why the motor didn't explode. (Wishful thinking?)
A third zoomed back and forth in a straight line at full throttle. My guess is 60 mph was his top speed. Surprisingly, he didn't appear to be enjoying himself. His sullen demeanor led me to believe he was disappointed with his speed and was striving to scratch a few more horsepower out of his toy.
He did smile once, though, when he jumped off the seat, pivoted on his hands over the steering bar, sat on his cowling and zoomed for a few hundred yards riding backwards. I'd estimate he was doing about 30-40 miles an hour and had no idea as to where he was going. He smiled broadly.
All the while, not a single canoe, kayak, rubber raft or row boat dared venture onto the water. No one swam at the public beach. Four Jet Skis owned the small, 50-acre lake for a few hours.
The fourth Jet Ski driver came to shore. I asked him what his reaction would be if I showed up one night in his Soldotna yard or on the street in front of his house with roaring engines pushing 500-pound, high-speed vehicles? Suppose I was endangering his children? What if I was imposing my will upon an entire community?
He had no answers. Do you? Of course you do. You'd call the cops.
We need the right to do the same for nuisances on our small lakes. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game claims to be without authority and the Alaska State Troopers say Fish and Game is in charge; therefore, the answer lies in legislation banning these machines.
A search of the Internet reveals hundreds of successful legislative and executive orders banning Jet Skis around the United States. A prime example close to home is Kachemak Bay. It's not like it can't be done.
Please call and write our legislators and Borough mayor. The e-mail addresses and phone numbers are:
Senator_John_Torgerson@legis.state.ak.us Phone: 260-3041;
When four people hold a community of over 100 hostage in their own homes, something needs to be done about it.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.