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Thread: What do you do with fish carcasses?

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default What do you do with fish carcasses?

    Saw this story in the ADN and was wondering what you all do with your fish carcasses, and what the "new rules" for getting rid of the carcasses might be?

    http://www.adn.com/2013/04/24/287777...fines-for.html


    I think this article is mostly about people dumping trash, which happens way too much on the south beach in my experience. But it also mentions fish carcasses. It seems to say that you can't dump the carcasses at the beach, but also at the end says the carcasses will be raked below the tide line "more often." So which is it, carcasses can be dumped at the beach, or you have to take them elsewhere?

    My practice has always been to gut the fish at the beach and take the rest home. I usually save the guts in a cooler and take them down at low tide and release them so they don't get back up to open beach. But, there are always fish heads and carcasses strung out on the beach during dipping. I do wish people would wait for low tide and take them down then, but it doesn't seem to be the standard by any means.

    Just wondering what everyone's take on the "right way" here would be?

    Can't wait for dippin season. Always one of the most enjoyable times of year for my family.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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    I like to compost them, but we only keep a dozen at most.
    Same with haibut parts, shrimp parts and some seaweed.....good stuff but you have to keep it covered or it will stink.
    BK

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    What do I do with my fish carcasses? When I fish in Valdez I use the cleaning stations at the harbor and put all carcasses in the designated fish waste cages. When I fish in Seward I use the cleaning stations and put the carcasses in the designated area for fish waste. When I dipnet at Chitina I use the cleaning table and throw the carcasses into obrien creek. When I fish at the deshka river I use the cleaning station and throw the carcasses into the deshka river. When I fish at the eklutna tail race I clean fish on the small table set there and throw the carcasses into the knik river. When I fish on the Kenai river I am forced to bring my fish home whole because unbelievable as it may seem there are no decent cleaning stations or suitable fish waste disposal areas. This is on arguably the most popular fishing destination in all of Alaska! I just can't believe it!

    i do not disagree that there is frequently a mess of fish carcasses on the beach nor do I disagree with local Kenai residents who complain abut fish carcasses everywhere. What I can't believe is why there aren't decent cleaning stations and fish disposal options in such a heavily used fishery.

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    I like to freeze my fish more or less whole and layer-glaze them, so it's not much of an issue for me. I stick heads in the freezer so I can make soup stock, fish sauce etc. all winter. Usually the first meal I make of a fish is just dropping the skeleton in a frying pan and picking it clean. I cure roe sushi-style, since my kid is crazy for it. Sometimes I fry up milt sacs with sauerkraut, but that can get old quick. Guts I toss in the river when the current is going out fast, so I don't have to pick it out of my net again later, though I might keep a bit for the compost pile. I see a lot of fish wasted on the river. No wonder folks need so many.

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    Quote Originally Posted by safari View Post
    What do I do with my fish carcasses? When I fish in Valdez I use the cleaning stations at the harbor and put all carcasses in the designated fish waste cages. When I fish in Seward I use the cleaning stations and put the carcasses in the designated area for fish waste. When I dipnet at Chitina I use the cleaning table and throw the carcasses into obrien creek. When I fish at the deshka river I use the cleaning station and throw the carcasses into the deshka river. When I fish at the eklutna tail race I clean fish on the small table set there and throw the carcasses into the knik river. When I fish on the Kenai river I am forced to bring my fish home whole because unbelievable as it may seem there are no decent cleaning stations or suitable fish waste disposal areas. This is on arguably the most popular fishing destination in all of Alaska! I just can't believe it!

    i do not disagree that there is frequently a mess of fish carcasses on the beach nor do I disagree with local Kenai residents who complain abut fish carcasses everywhere. What I can't believe is why there aren't decent cleaning stations and fish disposal options in such a heavily used fishery.
    Completely agree with this. It does not make sense to me. As far as what I do with my fish waste while dipping the Kenai, I filet them and throw any guts and carcasses either in the water or right near the water line if it's low tide. I don't see how they're going to stop people from leaving guts on the beaches. Even if they could, it's going to present even more problems with people dumping them all over streams in Anchorage and the surrounding area streams. I know F&G is worried about invasive species these days and this just seems like a nightmare in that respect.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I believe what this is saying no carcasses on the beach.
    It doesn't say you can't deposit them in the water.
    So be sure you dump guts/carcasses in the water or face a nice fine.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by safari View Post
    What do I do with my fish carcasses? When I fish in Valdez I use the cleaning stations at the harbor and put all carcasses in the designated fish waste cages. When I fish in Seward I use the cleaning stations and put the carcasses in the designated area for fish waste. When I dipnet at Chitina I use the cleaning table and throw the carcasses into obrien creek. When I fish at the deshka river I use the cleaning station and throw the carcasses into the deshka river. When I fish at the eklutna tail race I clean fish on the small table set there and throw the carcasses into the knik river. When I fish on the Kenai river I am forced to bring my fish home whole because unbelievable as it may seem there are no decent cleaning stations or suitable fish waste disposal areas. This is on arguably the most popular fishing destination in all of Alaska! I just can't believe it!

    i do not disagree that there is frequently a mess of fish carcasses on the beach nor do I disagree with local Kenai residents who complain abut fish carcasses everywhere. What I can't believe is why there aren't decent cleaning stations and fish disposal options in such a heavily used fishery.
    Ok here we go again.
    First off if you don't like it stay home or fish elsewhere. Us Peninsula residents will not miss you.
    I have stated this before but I will say it again.
    The city of Kenai raised rates 2 years ago but rescinded it before dipnet season due to the inability to find a contractor to deal with the fish waste.
    You see as an individual you are allowed to dispose of fish waste up to I believe 4,000#
    Once the city collects it by law they now own it and must dispose of it according to state and federal laws.
    What are the options?
    1) grinding. Must be ground to less than 1/2". The problem is the grinders do not like sand. That pretty much eliminates that option with dipnet fish. It just isn't clean enough.

    2) Offshore dumping. Requires it be dumped at least 2 miles offshore. This would also require a special type of boat that could safely dump this amount of fish waste at sea.
    This could be spendy to build and finding one locally to do it via rent lease or contracted out with the dollars they have is difficult.

    3) Fertilizer or fish meal plant. Well someone would need to start one. The city isn't in the business of starting one of these plants. A private individual would need to put up the $$$$$.
    Maybe someone who doesn't like the situation such as yourself will get one of these plants going?

    4) Give the city of Kenai a workable idea to deal with hundreds of thousands of pounds of fish waste.
    Got one?

    It just isn't as simple as collecting the waste. You have to legally dispose of it.
    I take mine home and dump the waste in fast moving water upstream.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Ok here we go again.
    First off if you don't like it stay home or fish elsewhere. Us Peninsula residents will not miss you.

    This thread was intended as a informational thread to figure out how we can all comply with any new laws/regs that are put into place, not as a pissing match about how dipnetters screw the city of Kenai. I love to go down there dipnetting, and my family and I do all we can to treat the area with respect and clean up after ourselves. I realize not all do that. But to get on a "go away, we won't miss you" high horse seems a little over the top. With all due respect, Kenai and the surrounding areas get a huge amount of income and business from this fishery. When I go, I spend money on camp fees (sometimes at the beach, sometimes at other private businesses), gas, ice, food, supplies...the list could go on. I realize this fishery creates a lot of problems at the beach itself, I really do. But I also realize, and so should you, that this fishery brings hundreds, thousands, of people into the Kenai area over the course of three or four weeks, who all spend money at local businesses, and lots of it.

    It is always ironic to hear this attitude by Kenai locals. It is the same for boat pollution in the water, parking problems across town, trash, etc. But when king, silver and red fishing is shut down for quota issues, we hear lots about how the economy there is suffering, businesses are losing money like crazy, etc. You don't really get it both ways. "Go away, we don't care," and "woe is us, we are losing financially" cannot coexist. Just looking for guidance on how to improve this fishery for everyone, especially the town that we come to do it. I absolutely love this fishery and would hate to see it go away. I would love to help improve the problems that go along with it, and I imagine others who chime in here would like to do the same.

    Respectfully...
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmg View Post
    This thread was intended as a informational thread to figure out how we can all comply with any new laws/regs that are put into place, not as a pissing match about how dipnetters screw the city of Kenai. I love to go down there dipnetting, and my family and I do all we can to treat the area with respect and clean up after ourselves. I realize not all do that. But to get on a "go away, we won't miss you" high horse seems a little over the top. With all due respect, Kenai and the surrounding areas get a huge amount of income and business from this fishery. When I go, I spend money on camp fees (sometimes at the beach, sometimes at other private businesses), gas, ice, food, supplies...the list could go on. I realize this fishery creates a lot of problems at the beach itself, I really do. But I also realize, and so should you, that this fishery brings hundreds, thousands, of people into the Kenai area over the course of three or four weeks, who all spend money at local businesses, and lots of it.

    It is always ironic to hear this attitude by Kenai locals. It is the same for boat pollution in the water, parking problems across town, trash, etc. But when king, silver and red fishing is shut down for quota issues, we hear lots about how the economy there is suffering, businesses are losing money like crazy, etc. You don't really get it both ways. "Go away, we don't care," and "woe is us, we are losing financially" cannot coexist. Just looking for guidance on how to improve this fishery for everyone, especially the town that we come to do it. I absolutely love this fishery and would hate to see it go away. I would love to help improve the problems that go along with it, and I imagine others who chime in here would like to do the same.

    Respectfully...
    Sorry for the thread hijacking.
    You will never EVER hear me crying over the lack of tourism/dipnetting dollars. My family and friends don't need them nor do we depend on them.
    I really think you are hearing two totally different groups there.
    One is those of us who don't need them. The other is those who depend on them.
    We are not the same people though we may be neighbors.


    To the subject at hand what do you and others propose we as Alaskans
    utilizing the river and/or the city of Kenai do with this ever growing amount of fish waste?
    So to comply with the new regs don't trash our beaches and throw fish waste into the river not on our beach.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Sorry for the thread hijacking.
    You will never EVER hear me crying over the lack of tourism/dipnetting dollars. My family and friends don't need them nor do we depend on them.
    I really think you are hearing two totally different groups there.
    One is those of us who don't need them. The other is those who depend on them.
    We are not the same people though we may be neighbors.


    To the subject at hand what do you and others propose we as Alaskans
    utilizing the river and/or the city of Kenai do with this ever growing amount of fish waste?
    So to comply with the new regs don't trash our beaches and throw fish waste into the river not on our beach.
    kasilof,

    i readily admit I am no expert on the myriad laws there must be relating to disposal of fish waste. I also certainly understand that the city of Kenai would provide no such disposal service at a loss. The part I do not understand is how all those other fishing communities I mentioned in my previous post pay for their fish carcass disposal. I do most of my fishing in Valdez and I do not pay any direct fees to use the great cleaning tables and fish disposal cages they have there. I am sure I am paying for those services indirectly somehow or the city of Valdez has determined it is worth it to them to provide nice facilities and keep us visitors coming back to Valdez to spend money. When you dump a fish carcass in Valdez it falls into a floating cage/bin in the harbor. Wen. The bin gets full they simply tow it out and dump it. I do not know exactly where they tow it to but I believe they just tow it out into Valdez arm in front of the harbor a ways and dump it. Somebody more knowledgeable than me please correct me on these details. The point I am trying to make is that this seems like a very inexpensive way to handle the waste and I for one will tell you that I like the cleaning station setup in Valdez so much that I would happily pay up to a 20 dollar user fee if a similar setup were available to clean my dipnet fish in Kenai.

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    Salmon carcasses make excellent shrimp and halibut bait if you have the room to freeze them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by safari View Post
    kasilof,

    i readily admit I am no expert on the myriad laws there must be relating to disposal of fish waste. I also certainly understand that the city of Kenai would provide no such disposal service at a loss. The part I do not understand is how all those other fishing communities I mentioned in my previous post pay for their fish carcass disposal. I do most of my fishing in Valdez and I do not pay any direct fees to use the great cleaning tables and fish disposal cages they have there. I am sure I am paying for those services indirectly somehow or the city of Valdez has determined it is worth it to them to provide nice facilities and keep us visitors coming back to Valdez to spend money. When you dump a fish carcass in Valdez it falls into a floating cage/bin in the harbor. Wen. The bin gets full they simply tow it out and dump it. I do not know exactly where they tow it to but I believe they just tow it out into Valdez arm in front of the harbor a ways and dump it. Somebody more knowledgeable than me please correct me on these details. The point I am trying to make is that this seems like a very inexpensive way to handle the waste and I for one will tell you that I like the cleaning station setup in Valdez so much that I would happily pay up to a 20 dollar user fee if a similar setup were available to clean my dipnet fish in Kenai.
    I am no expert either but I have looked into this a time or two.
    First off lets look at your Valdez scenario with a towable floating fish waste barge or cage or whatever it is called. Seldovia has a similiar setup that I have used before so I am guessing the one in Valdez is similiar.
    What do these other communities have that Kenai does not? First off a deep water Port/Harbor. Kenai does not have a deep water dock or a place to put one currently. Where would you place such a device in the Kenai area?
    When you are down dipnetting this year look around for a commercial boat for hire. You won't find one. All the boats capable of towing such a contraption are commercial fishing boats or directly related to the commercial fishery. Those boats do not have the time or the inclination to help haul out sport/personal use fish waste.
    I know Homer,Seward,Valdez all have tug boats,landing craft and other for hire commercial boats. Boats you can hire,rent,or lease to remove this waste. Paying one to motor up from Homer twice a week to dump some fish guts is probably cost prohibitive.
    while you may be willing to pay an extra $20 for such a service many are not and they have to figure that in to whatever scenario they decide to try.
    At what point do people decide it isn't worth it and take the fish guts elsewhere or just dump them wherever the think they can get away with it? $10? $15? $20? You have to weigh that with the cost. We have people dumping fish guts in random areas already. Including off of city streets in town!
    Yes it can be done but it certainly isn't as easy as it is in Homer,valdez,or Seward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    So to comply with the new regs don't trash our beaches and throw fish waste into the river not on our beach.
    Buddy......you know I'm a big fan, and although I agree it's a simple task of just throwing the guts and carcasses out into the water, respectfully, I have to say that it's not "your" or "my" beach........it's all Alaskan's beach. I will say that only because if I go up to hunt, or fish, in the interior somewhere, it's not exclusively "their" land or stream, any more than it is mine. But I will respect it as if it were. IMHO, Alaskan's should look at it's resources as "ours", not "mine". Maybe then we can all understand equally what needs to be done when problems arise.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Buddy......you know I'm a big fan, and although I agree it's a simple task of just throwing the guts and carcasses out into the water, respectfully, I have to say that it's not "your" or "my" beach........it's all Alaskan's beach. I will say that only because if I go up to hunt, or fish, in the interior somewhere, it's not exclusively "their" land or stream, any more than it is mine. But I will respect it as if it were. IMHO, Alaskan's should look at it's resources as "ours", not "mine". Maybe then we can all understand equally what needs to be done when problems arise.....
    Notice how I did not say "my" beach or the "Peninsulas" beach.
    To me when I said "our" beach I meant the one owned by all Alaskans collectively. Even though legally the beach in question does belong to the city of Kenai not the federal government or the State of Alaska.
    I will say when I walk on the beack the other 11 months of the year that dipnetting is not going on I notice there is not a lot of trash or fish guts on the beach. Sure there is often a bit of trash but nothing like you see in July.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Ever wonder where the pile of halibut carcasses comes from that get dumped below the Warren Ames Bridge? I personally witnessed the truck back up and the gents haul their garbage cans full down to the muck.

    Those carcasses stay there below the high tide line for a long time. Just dumping stuff in the river is not good enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Notice how I did not say "my" beach or the "Peninsulas" beach.
    Ok....my mistake, the way I read you saying "our" was like you saying the residents here......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmg View Post
    It is always ironic to hear this attitude by Kenai locals. It is the same for boat pollution in the water, parking problems across town, trash, etc. But when king, silver and red fishing is shut down for quota issues, we hear lots about how the economy there is suffering, businesses are losing money like crazy, etc. You don't really get it both ways. "Go away, we don't care," and "woe is us, we are losing financially" cannot coexist. Just looking for guidance on how to improve this fishery for everyone, especially the town that we come to do it. I absolutely love this fishery and would hate to see it go away. I would love to help improve the problems that go along with it, and I imagine others who chime in here would like to do the same.

    Respectfully...
    These are clearly two seperate groups of people, many of those complaining about loosing tourist dollars are Washington/Oregon residents, not peninsula residents that have to deal with the trash and bio-hazard left behind after July. Why confuse the converation?

    Don't get me wrong, I love watching you guys and the entertainment you provide (dipnetters in general, not you personally...). However a significant percentage of people who participate in the dipnet ought to be ashamed of themselves for a myriad of reasons (waste of fish, human waste, etc.) and you can't blame people for getting tired of it.

    On the topic of actual disposal, it's certainly a maze of problems. I've often thought a boardwalk at the end of the access road where the new bathrooms are at would be a good place for a cleaning station with a discharge into the channel. Key word there is discharge, now you've triggered environmental impact studies...

    Keep in mind there are probably no less than 10 agencies that would have to permit any system. The Corps of Engineers regulates any sort of new structure in or on the shore of the river, the borough would require a permit, ADF&G, USFWS, City of Kenai, NOAA (beluga listing), DEC (waste discharge), EPA (waste discharge, belugas), thats just what I can think of off the top of my head. If I were planning such a project I would allow about 3 years for study and permitting work alone.

    Now that my rant is over, most of this could be alleviated if people weren't too lazy to toss their carcasses into the current. What really bothers most non-dipnet beach users is the 3' diameter piles of carcasses, totally avoidable, no permits, no added expense...

  18. #18

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    I too have used the fish cleaning stations in Seldovia. Very nice. I have no idea, but I would assume this was a plan developed by the city in order to encourage people to use their harbor and come to their city. Good for them. Despite the obvious differences between Kenai and Seldovia/Valdez which have already been mentioned, there is one more thing. This was not a fishery that was created or encouraged by the City of Kenai. It was created by the State of Alaska. Important to remember that this was a fully allocated fishery before PU was created, and the City of Kenai has historically done quite well from the sport and commercial fisheries that have existed here for over 100 years. Kenai is a port city, and I believe is rated in the top 30 ports nationally for the value of seafood landings. The personal use fishery is something that it deals with, not so much encourages for income, as this fishery is prosecuted on the banks of the port entrance, which the City owns. Right or wrong, that is how the city and it's residents feel about it. As a Kenai resident, I feel that it is not my city's responsibility to figure out how to deal with this mess. That responsibility rests solely on the state. For Kenai to go to great lengths to find a solution to the trash problem is, in many residents minds, endorsing the current mindset that this fishery should be able to grow unrestricted. Our river is packed. Plain and simple. I know many Kenai residents who have vowed to not dipnet any longer out of concern and respect for our river. Changes are needed.

    I'm not slamming anyone who dipnets here. I've done it plenty. I have many friends and family who depend on it. It is an important fishery, and Alaskans have a right to these fish. But really, it's absolutely crazy to expect that Kenai should encourage the chaos and disorder that descends on our river mouth by taking care of people's trash for them.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    This was not a fishery that was created or encouraged by the City of Kenai. It was created by the State of Alaska. Important to remember that this was a fully allocated fishery before PU was created, and the City of Kenai has historically done quite well from the sport and commercial fisheries that have existed here for over 100 years. Kenai is a port city, and I believe is rated in the top 30 ports nationally for the value of seafood landings. The personal use fishery is something that it deals with, not so much encourages for income, as this fishery is prosecuted on the banks of the port entrance, which the City owns. Right or wrong, that is how the city and it's residents feel about it. As a Kenai resident, I feel that it is not my city's responsibility to figure out how to deal with this mess. That responsibility rests solely on the state.
    Cities don't create fisheries, that is the responsibility of the board of fisheries. The Kenai PU fishery is really a product of a subsistence fishery that was there long before both sport and commercial but was disallowed through changes to state subsistence laws and the creation of non-subsistence areas. This fishery has essentially operated the same as it did under subsistence regulations although the trigger for openings and seasons evolved through time just as the sport and commercial regulations have evolved through time. The city is the land owner, not the state, therefore management of city owned (i.e public) lands is the responsibility of the city. The city has been doing a great job of handling the influx of visitors participating in the PU fishery just like they do in the city parks, roads, etc. It appears that the city will continue to take an active role in refining its role in dealing with summer visitors.

  20. #20

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    If this is a true subsistance fishery, then people should be required to take the heads/carcasses. Head/backbone is some good eating. I had some locals get pissed at me for throwing out carcasses.


    I'm suprised somebody hasn't started collecting the heads to sell as halibut bait. Good stuff.

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