Turbidity study on Kenai River 'languishes' at state level
At least someone's paying attention.
The public needs to start pressing the state to address usage-related habitat issues on the Kenai. This is not the only issue they have been sweeping under the rug. More than one habitat-related study has fallen into the black hole of "peer review".
Smithtb, whatever do you mean? Are there really usage-related habitat issues on the Kenai that are not being addressed?
Glad you asked concerned citizen. I was beginning to think that no one cared!!!
You may have noticed a few more articles in the Clarion recently about the increased use in our upper river.
Obviously, usage patterns and commercial activity have changed on our river. Unfortunately, we don't know how or to what extent because the necessary data is still not publicly available from ADFG. While commercial harvest data is available within hours, and management reports are available within months after the season, sportfishing statewide harvest surveys and freshwater guide logbook data are still (to my knowledge) not available for 2012. Management reports have not been available for many years.
Hard to identify a problem if no one knows about it.
What's more, both Sockeye and King salmon management plans require ADFG to conduct and publish triennial habitat assesments in order to determine if inriver fishing pressure is leading to destruction of ripiarian habitat. These studies are to be presented to the BOF during its regular meeting cycle on UCI finfish issues, and solutions are to be proposed if habitat destruction due to fishing pressure has occurred.
Care to guess when the most recent habitat assesment/study was done? I'll give you a clue. It's been over a DECADE!!!!!
Everyone should be concerned about this. I have a hard time believing that the increased inriver pressure over the last two decades is not affecting riparian habitat, and an even harder time believing that anyone is doing anything about it. Remember, this is all PRIME King salmon spawning and rearing habitat.
Behind the curtain is awesome here is why drift only would make and be the deal I think the nation and world wide would be in line from here to Seattle to be able to come up here catch a fish on a quiet place and hop in a rental car and have a latte or stiff drink it would be worth billions $ I say go for it. The sport would then really thrive We would be able to have more anglers on the river if it was one way and the economic benefit would be unbelievable truly astounding just think about it? Below kenai lake to the landings it is never really over crowded when you drift so doing the same thing down low can have more people and create tremendous money plus drift only that way you can't go up and down so more people could replace you because of the river power and no motor, we keep off the turbidity except in the bottom of the river in the tidal mud area where people net salmon and canneries operate. What do you think?
Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan
From the ADFG 2005 report to the AK Board of Fisheries - Kenai River Riparian Habitat Assessment:
"That being said, are we encroaching on a point where the sport fishery for late-run sockeye salmon has grown to a size that may be negatively impacting rearing habitat of juvenile salmonids at a level that warrants concern? Current (2003) harvest of sockeye salmon (Figure 3) exceeds levels of 1997-2000 when data for this report were collected. This suggests continued growth in the sport fishery for late-run sockeye salmon, assuming that sockeye salmon runs continue at present levels of return. Data presented in this report suggests that some shore anglers are beginning to seek marginal back channel fishing locations, possibly due to crowding in mainstem areas. Salmon runs appear to be highly productive in the Kenai River at present but cumulative impacts from shore anglers to fish rearing habitat in combination with other potential impacts (e.g., development in the riparian zone, changes in water quality, changes in ground and surface water flow, increased bank erosion) may ultimately become a biological concern. Unfortunately, we have no way of specifically quantifying these potential impacts until fish productivity decreases. From examples elsewhere, we do know that measured loss of habitat in a short time period can negatively impact a population and, in time, can result in a loss of productivity. Results of the shore angler impact study showed significant changes to herbaceous and shrub/herbaceous habitats and was measured in three seasons (1998-2000)."
Until fish productivity decreases, huh?and we're talking about prime King rearing habitat, right? Sure wish we had some data on this from after 2000...