Fish and Game seats up for grabs

Posted: Monday, December 16, 2002

The Kenai-Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee will have 12 seats up for election at its Jan. 10 meeting.

Eight regular seats on the committee expire at the end of the year. In addition, two alternates will be elected as well as two seats which were vacated by resignations.

Even more seats nearly were put up for election at the committee's meeting Dec. 5, as three members were singled out for poor attendance. Under committee bylaws, if a member misses three consecutive meetings, their seat automatically can be vacated by the committee chair. After discussion about whether to vacate the seats held by Howard Davis, Lloyd Richardson and David Haeg, committee chair Brent Johnson decided not to in order to give those members additional time to explain their absences.

Davis, who attended the meeting, said he fully intends to remain on the board. He cited outside concerns -- including a recent encounter with a bear -- as causing him to miss a couple recent meetings.

In addition to the discussion of elections, the committee again took up the issue of submitting proposals to the Board of Fisheries for its March meeting regarding the early run of Kenai River king salmon. However, the committee largely was unable to reach agreement on exactly what recommendations to make to the board.

Proposals to limit the number of guides operating on the Kenai and Kasilof rivers and to revert the Kenai River back to 1999 regulations were rejected by the board because of a general feeling that the proposals weren't worded clearly enough to adequately convey the committee's intent. However, widespread support for returning to 1999 regulations was voiced by committee members and members of the public.

It was pointed out by Johnson that proposals still can be formulated and submitted to the board at future meetings.

Two proposals did pass, which will be forwarded to the Board of Fisheries. One, which would mandate the board to consider the Kasilof River and saltwater king fisheries when making Kenai River decisions, passed with little discussion. The motion passed unanimously.

A second proposal, to increase the length of time mid-river "sanctuaries" on the river are closed to angling and increase the area of the sanctuaries, passed with unanimous support. The sanctuary proposal was brought in order to protect early run kings spawning and staging in critical areas above the Soldotna bridge.

In other action Thursday, the committee:

Recommended Paul Shadura, Ed Krohn and Brent Johnson as members to the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

Recommended Roland Maw as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Recommended Ted Spraker as a member to the Alaska Board of Game.

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