The ongoing dipnet fishery in the mouth of the Kenai River has generated some good local discussion, headlines for the newspapers and letters to this paper.
I am still waiting for something positive to come out of this fishery.
Loading the city of Kenai coffers with cash is not my idea of a positive benefit to city residents unless we can see something for it besides the pounding our beaches are taking each day.
It would be one thing if it were the local Kenai residents who were doing this damage, but it is not.
More than 90 percent of the participants in this fishery do not live here. They are from an area of the state that already has destroyed its fishing resource. Just like bison, they roam until they find the resource again. They will move on once nothing is left here.
Real life practice for Kenai's police and the fire department is valuable experience, but not experience I want to pay for.
Too many Kenai residents have been displaced by this fishery. They have been displaced to satisfy the needs of non-Kenai residents. Is this right? I don't feel it is.
I can only think that some people think that this is OK because "it's just for the month of July." "We can put up with it for just a month."
Well I for one am tired of it. It's getting old, and the disrespect I see for our Kenai River is escalating every year. What if your house or business was only vandalized or destroyed once a year but insurance covered it? It's time for Kenai to stand up and take our beaches back. We don't need this!
I understand that the local vendors enjoy the increase in business when the dipnet fishery occurs. The question must be asked though: At what price are we willing to sell the Kenai River for?
As far as something visible for Kenai residents to see the benefit of this fishery, how about spending some dipnet dollars on the library expansion or visitors center. How about free ice cream on Sundays during July for the residents of Kenai. It's just one month.
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