Political river game frustrating reader

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Friday, December 29, 2006

I am a private resident angler, with an older two-stroke outboard who has been fishing the Kenai since moving here almost six years ago. Because I am not a longtime resident of the peninsula, I do not pine for the good old days when there were few boats on the Kenai and one could experience what must have been a wonderful “wilderness” experience with the potential to catch a huge fish.

My experience has been many boats and a wonderful experience because virtually anyone has access to the river, and everyone has the potentially to catch a huge fish. It’s why we are all there.

I am deeply disappointed by the direction future regulations seem to be taking. From my admittedly biased (older two-stroke owner) perspective, it appears that well-organized, special interest groups are carrying the agenda. How else does one explain increasing the size of four-stroke motors from 35 to 50 and at the same time banning older two-stroke motors? It defies understanding and will certainly drive a segment of the fishing population off the river.

And, to add insult to injury Kenai’s city council is considering banning the launching of boats with older two-strokes at the city dock. Where is this coming from? I have a hard time understanding this logic.

Oh well. It must be politics 101, jump on the band wagon and get some political attention.

I look at the time spent on the river each legal fishing day by most owners of those ever larger boats with 35 soon to be 50 four-strokes and compare against the time spent spent by most owners of older two-strokes and I truly wonder where most of the so called problem is coming from?

I say so called because we all know that the Kenai moves a huge volume of water each day during the peak of summer and short-term peaks in hydrocarbon levels are exactly that, short term. So what is all of this really about?

If the real goal is to return to the good old days of few boats on the river, and not getting bounced around by boat wakes all day, then by all means lets reduce the number of all boats (with motors) on the river and let’s stop targeting those the least organized and therefore, the least able to defend themselves. The path of least resistance is not necessarily the best path.

Don Zacharias


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