Ak Fishing News: Outsiders Decide Kenai River's Fate?
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The Anchorage Daily News reports that some Kenai anglers are complaining that "they've lost the river to outsiders."
"A new organization, the Kenai Area Fisherman's Coalition, ran a half-pageRead the entire story in the Anchorage Daily News >>>
attack ad in the Peninsula Clarion labeling the fishing event
[Ed: the Kenai River Classic
by Sen. Ted Stevens divisive and ultimately bad for the river. Members,
including former state biologists who managed the river, said paid access to
policymakers helps corporations and commercial guides, not fish or local
"There are a number of us who have been involved with state
or federal agencies that feel there's undue influence peddling," said Dave
Athons, a retired assistant area sportfish biologist with the Alaska Department
of Fish and Game. "The local fisherman has very little say.""
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Bought and paid for
The beautiful Kenai has become a means for an ever-growing cadre to make money. The Classic is just an ugly visible tumor of a greater cancer.
I have a friend who worked the banquet. He tells me some of the auction items were going for $20,000. How much do government officials make again?
Is it true they closed a portion of the river for the event?
closed a portion
The last time I fished the Kenai River they were having the Classic and they closed part of it. You'd a thunk the Prez was fishing there!
I don't believe that resources allotted to ALL Alaskans can be monopolized by a few rich and powerful ones for their amusement. They should never be allowed to do that again.
Originally Posted by trapperrick
You guys are full of it, get a clue what you are talking about, no part of the Kenai was closed due to the Classic. This is how rumors get started. None of the river was closed period!!!!
If you dispute my statements please tell me which section of the river was closed and how.
Yukon is correct. No part of the river was closed or has ever been closed for the Classic.
And the guides are so good for that river. They do nothing but good for it.
If the classic is such a bad thing, how do you propose to raise the money that it generates each year? Should there be a tax on every boat that uses the river? A special stamp to fish the Kenai?
Let's face it folks, the improvements on the river are a result of the dollars this tournament generates. The walkway's, shoring up the banks, fish study's, education and I'm sure more are all funded by this. If you all have a better idea for generating the money, let's hear it.
KRSA, Big Money, and what they want to see
Rod Builder asks a fair question. And it isn't like all the money the Classic raises doesn't do some good. However, there are other funding mechanisms available, and other options we could consider, such as a non-res Kenai stamp or something else.
The real point here is this: What is the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, which runs the Classic, advocating? What do they really want?
I just transcribed Bob Penney's testimony from last April, before the House Committee on Economic Development and Trade. KRSA gave a presentation on the Economics of Sportfishing. The audio file is HERE
For the benefit of those here, I am going to paste it below. Penney is a board member of KRSA. You don't have to read between the lines of his comments to see what KRSA advocates. Judge for yourself what is going on, who is influencing things, and the direction KRSA is demanding the state takes with Kenai and other fisheries management. Ask yourself if you are a member of the "public" Penney speaks of who want to see this change he and KRSA advocates. Ask yourself if the "tourists" should have the amount of fish they "need." Ask yourself what will happen to the Kenai if KRSA's plans come to fruition. Ask yourself if we will see more or less crowding, more or less habitat damage. There is a point in time when we must decide what we deem best for the future of our state, our rivers, our fisheries, our habitat. If you like what Penney has to say, then join KRSA and support them. If you don't, I encourage you to support orgs like Kenai Area Fisherman's Coalition and Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. We need all the members and help we can get in order to influence those who will decide the future of our fisheries.
House Committee on Economic Development and Trade/ The Economics of Sportfishing
April 24, 2007
Bob Penney quotes: 55:35
one more try to paste in KRSA comments
ďThere isnít a single thing your committee or this legislature can do to have more economic impact and strengthen the state than one single thing, now that is increase the availability for sportfishing in Cook Inlet; it will double in value in two years. You take a pond here and put catfish in it, the people are gonna show up. Take a part of the channel and put king salmon in it, I assure you the people are gonna show up. Theyíll be there. The problem with cook inlet, even though weíre the middle of the population, we have only allowed fifteen percent of the harvest. Thereís 216,000 licensed anglers in southcentral; we get fifteen percent of the harvest. The commercial fishermen take eighty-five [percent]. Now, you want to see something change? Then see that take place, make that accessibility [sic] for the public. There is a move on now, and itís going to the Board of Fish, and it will be in the legislature in an initiative or referendum that this will have to be [sic] take place. That the way the fisheries manage [sic] should be turned around one-hundred eighty degrees in Southcentral like it has to the rest of the United States, and that is, the public should have the first right to allocation for the fisheries they need. Your family, my family, people that live there should have the amount of the fish that they need for their own needs. And the tourists should. Then, whatever is surplus to our needs could be commercially harvested. Thatís the way the fisheryís got to be changed and itís going to be coming down to see you in some manner in the next few years because the publicís gonna wanna see that done.
So, summarizing Iím saying to you, it was Jones and Stokes did a study in 1986 that we got 320,000 dollars from Governor Sheffield for, that shows the economic impact of the fisheries in southcentral. Then, a king salmon that was caught was eleven-hundred and eighteen dollars, twenty years ago, economic impact. Any salmon was one-hundred ten [sic] dollars economic impact. What do you think it is twenty years later today? So if you wanna look at something that will really increase the economic impact in our entire state, make more fish available to the public! Believe me, the tourists will come, they have, every one in the nation you want to. So, I hope you listen to this, hear whatís gonna be coming down the pike further, but itís time to see in Cook Inlet, itís time to see the fisheries change to where we the public have a right to the fish we want. Anything else then can be caught and sold and I thank you for your time.Ē
A few questions and comments from the Committee, then Penney follows up with these comments:
ďThe economic value of the land along the Kenai River privately held from Skilak to Ames bridge; three years ago the assessed value to the borough of only the privately owned land was three hundred and thirty-five million dollars. As Mr. Busey just said to you, itís increased since then. Now, I know itís well over five-hundred, but we havenít seen what the boroughís assessed it. But gentlemen and maím, all that assessment in value came from one reason; cause thereís fish in the river. And you put the fish in the river, and you put the fish in the inlet, and you give the opportunity for the public youíll see the economic engine run hard.Ē
I kinda' figured the Kenai River was a goner long ago. It just keeps getting worse.
A few big-money minded locals attract tourism and real estate development, make a buck, then leave to retire in Hawaii or Florida. The tourism or real estate boom they created continues to grow until it's a monster that can't be controlled. If fish and game are involved, the "subsistence" issue gets thrown into the mess. Then come the courts and environmental kooks.
Continuing to attract the hordes to the Kenai might be a shame for the Kenai, but if they keep going there, maybe the rest of the state can survive longer...............
Originally Posted by Mark
I agree! Let all the hordes go to the Kenai and leave the rest of the state for those who don't want to deal with the crowds. Need proof, fish the Russian for a day!
There is a reason some of us invest in boats and aircraft.................
Kinda funny all this talk about the Kenai being crowded, you must only fish the river for the last 2 weeks in July. Being out there in May, June, Early July, and August there are very few boats. This week, many guides are not working some of the days. Go ahead and get on the Kenai, it is not what you may think. I fished a guy today that I have fished the last five years and his remark was, "Where is everybody?"
arctic skys are awesome!
Doc that is one beautiful sunset!! I think you've posted another one or two on here that I drooled over too. Thanks!!
Originally Posted by yukon
You are right there. Unfortunaltly I have one of those "non-Kenai" boats. I have fished there in September and have not seen a soul, which was nice. I guess using the russian river as a sole source is not fair to the rest of the area.
Hey Yukon and Doc
Yukon and Francis,
So what are your thoughts on Bob Penney's comments that I took the time to transcribe? Do you support what he and KRSA are advocating? It's rather ironic you claim the river is not that crowded now for most of the season, but you seem to support KRSA's plans to make it that way. C'mon, give us some honest and rational thoughts on what direction you'd like to see us take. KRSA wants to put more fish in the Kenai for sportfishing interests. Like Penney said, if you put catfish in a pond the anglers will come, the tourists will come. For once I'd like to see either of you just say yea or nay on what KRSA is advocating for, and explain in rational terms why you agree or disagree. A sunrise picture looks good Doc, but it sorta just gets away from the point.
I believe the point of the pic was to show that even in early July, one of the busiest and most productive fishing holes on the river is devoid of boats and people. Was it really that hard to figure out?
Originally Posted by bushrat
Can the river be a zoo and be so over-run with boats and people that it resembles an LA freeway more than a salmon river? You bet! Any **** fool knows you don't come to the Kenai for peace and quiet anytime after July 20. But spend any amount of time on the river at all, and you also know that at the stroke of 12:01 am Aug 1, the river reverts back to a serene salmon stream literally overnight.
The crowding in the last 10-12 days in July doesn't occur because of Bob Penney or KRSA. As the sport fishery has matured, participants have come to realize that this narrow window of time is when the bulk of the fish arrive, both kings and reds. Is it any wonder that's when the bulk of the anglers (resident and tourist) arrive as well?
Would I like to see more fish in the river? Any sport fisher would be lying if he didn't say yes. But I don't see the connection that it would necessarily bring on more crowds. I believe the river is at carrying capacity as it is... you aren't necessarily gonna put more bodies on the water just because you put more fish in the river. You will however make it much more likely that the same number of folks will be catching a lot more fish.
My allegiance lies with the organization that best espouses the mantra of maximum sustained recreation. My support goes to the group that best looks out for the allocative interest of the recreational angler. At present, there is no group that does that better than KRSA. If there were, that's where my support would go.
Do I agree with all of KRSA's policies, and do I support all of the ideas of their outspoken mouthpiece, Mr Penny? Certainly not. I've crossed swords with the KRSA leadership more than once, and probably will in the future. Mr Penney's comments are strictly his conjecture. Only time will tell if his predictions are accurate. As one guy on this forum likes to say, "it may all just be a bunch of hooey!" But as a participant who is gonna show up regardless of how many fish show up, you aren't gonna get any complaints from me if another 800 kings a day swim up the Kenai while I am on vacation.
It's a bit of a ying and yang thing. For longer than most can remember, the ying of comm-fish domination over the Cook Inlet salmon resources has been the status quo. Just maybe it's time for a little yang.
Change can hurt, but it is inevitable.
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
The KeenEye MD
I'm sure I will regret posting to this thread but here goes...
I agree that crowding is in the eye of the beholder so I took a look at Sport Fish's harvest survey on the Kenai and found that sport fishing effort (angler-days) has been pretty stable on the lower river (below the Soldotna bridge) recently, but is increasing from the bridge to the Moose River. Not much change above the Moose River... Most of the growth in the fishery was during the 1980's.