Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 52

Thread: Kenai River management questions. . .

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Question Kenai River management questions. . .

    As Alaskans consider a long-term view or plan for managing the Kenai River, questions arise. Here's the place to have those questions answered, hopefully so that one can then form a coherent view of where Kenai River management should be in, say, 10 or 20 years.

    To get the discussion started, here are some questions adapted from another thread:

    1) Should we move toward a non-motorized Kenai River?

    2) Should such a move be done as a measure to reduce the number of guides, reduce pollution, reduce the number of people period on the river, some other reason, or a combination of the above?

    3) Will more restrictions be necessary should the Kenai go to drift only?

    4) If the Kenai were to go drift-only, would boat-ferrying traffic change traffic trends on the Sterling Hwy?

    5) Will more put-in/take-out access points be considered if the Kenai should move toward drift-only?


  2. #2
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SE Alaska-Summer Columbia River-Winter
    Posts
    2,007

    Default Possible Solutions

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    As Alaskans consider a long-term view or plan for managing the Kenai River, questions arise. Here's the place to have those questions answered, hopefully so that one can then form a coherent view of where Kenai River management should be in, say, 10 or 20 years.

    To get the discussion started, here are some questions adapted from another thread:

    1) Should we move toward a non-motorized Kenai River?
    Might be a solution. Although require ALL guides to obtain and maintain a resident fishing license.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    2) Should such a move be done as a measure to reduce the number of guides, reduce pollution, reduce the number of people period on the river, some other reason, or a combination of the above?


    Making it all drift boat would or should reduce the pollution issue. Requiring resident fishing license would reduce the number of guides, if only temporarily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    3) Will more restrictions be necessary should the Kenai go to drift only?


    It will have to be a wait and see situation. If it corrects the problem, little more change would be needed. Although I would like to see snagging legal on the Russian. It is basically what is happening now, but snagging in the mouth. That might relieve some pressure there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    4) If the Kenai were to go drift-only, would boat-ferrying traffic change traffic trends on the Sterling Hwy?


    That would be a logical solution. Maybe a few for buses to run back and forth. More accessibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    5) Will more put-in/take-out access points be considered if the Kenai should move toward drift-only?


    Why not. Let the system support itself by fees maybe.

    Good post Marcus!
    Last edited by AKBassking; 09-04-2007 at 16:15. Reason: spelling

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Mark
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKBassking View Post
    .....Although require ALL guides to obtain and maintain a resident fishing license....
    Guides are like everyone else, right? If they fish, they have to have a fishing license, don't they?

    Originally Posted by Marcus
    2) Should such a move be done as a measure to reduce the number of guides, reduce pollution, reduce the number of people period on the river, some other reason, or a combination of the above?
    Making it all drift boat would or should reduce the pollution issue. Requiring resident fishing license would reduce the number of guides, if only temporarily.
    A non-motorized fishery takes away virtually all of the complaint points that have been offered so far. They are silent, there's no riverbank erosion, there's no hydrocarbon pollution.

    The complaint points they don't solve are overcrowding and who gets the fish.

    Changing to a non-motorized river would solve overcrowding at first, but rafts and driftboats are fairly cheap. It wouldn't take long and it would be crowded again.

    And it's likely to be the guides to switch over first, so the folks complaining about guide numbers wouldn't be satisfied long.

    Originally Posted by Marcus
    4) If the Kenai were to go drift-only, would boat-ferrying traffic change traffic trends on the Sterling Hwy?
    That would be a logical solution. Maybe a few for buses to run back and forth. More accessibility.
    I see problems. Instead of vehicles driving to a launch point, all boating would require both launch and pickup points. That's more traffic on the Sterling Hwy. Granted, the highway improvements over the past several years (decades late, IMO) is a blessing, but I wonder how long before it's overwhelmed again, itself.


    I think a non-motorized Kenai River is what the Kenai River is going to end up being. I'm not happy about it, but that's the trend throughout Alaska. Perceived problems are solved by making access more difficult.......but they really aren't solved. They're just reduced for a while.........

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default posted before

    Marcus, I have posted my solutions a number of times but few want to discuss them. I have proposed a combination of drift and powerboats on the river with incentives to move toward a drift boat fishery. Guides who do not get powerboat permits can obtain drift boat permits. Overall use of the river can increase with a drift boat fishery.

  5. #5

    Default

    Keep it motorized

  6. #6
    Mark
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Marcus, I have posted my solutions a number of times but few want to discuss them. I have proposed a combination of drift and powerboats on the river with incentives to move toward a drift boat fishery. Guides who do not get powerboat permits can obtain drift boat permits....
    Thus my questions over whether or not the Kenai River will eventually become non-motorized, similar to non-motorized controlled use areas in the hunting arena. I believe this is where we're going, and I'm extremely suspicious of such non-motorized agendas.

    Particular questions to your proposed solution:

    1) You mention incentives to move toward a drift boat fishery; what kind of incentives do you have in mind?

    2) You also mention guides who don't get powerboat permits can obtain drift permits; I assume you propose a limited number of power permits to start, and your incentives to shift to drifting will lower the number of power permits. IMO, this is close to the only thing I can support with regard to "use permits". The way the commercial fishing limited permitting scheme was set up in the 70's isn't the way to go. I don't want to see permits that become assets in and of themselves and which are marketable/transferable. That is a clear scam. Each powerboat permit that opens because the incentives lured an operator to a drift permit should be destroyed and not reissued.

    3) You mention guides in your permitting scheme. Does any of this include the average, non-commercial fisherman/boater? If not, how does this solve any problems? It might lower guides using powerboats, but the average citizen might just take up that slack.

    .....Overall use of the river can increase with a drift boat fishery.
    Up to a point, yes. But I'm sure that when there are thousands of folks floating/drifting the river, we'll hear overcrowding complaints again. Rubber rafts and driftboats are cheap compared to powerboats.

    I also pointed out that increased boat-ferrying necessary for one-way boat traffic may very well become a factor without improved infrastructure. Any move in this direction needs to take this into account.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default answers

    Mark, I proposed 200 powerboats on the river at any one time. I suggested that powerboat operators be split the days of operation up. For 3 days guide only powerboats operate in the morning, for 3 days recreational fisherman operate in the morning. The recreational angler gets weekends. The group not fishing in the morning gets the afternoon (starting at 4 pm or so) so powerboat guides and recreational anglers get 6 days a week and are not in competition.

    Incentives for the drift boat fisherman are they get to fish 7 days a week whenever they want, there is no limit on drift boat guides or the time they fish. However, if you are a powerboat guide you cannot participate in the drift boat fishery in the lower river. No problem from the Soldotna bridge upstream.

    Powerboat permits will be issued by DNR based on competitive bidding and will be for 10 years. Alaskan residents get a 5 point advantage in a 100 point scale (this is very close to what the State does for construction contracts). Other factors in the selection process would be experience, amount of money bid for the permit, type of vessel if we want to promote a certain vessel design - etc.

    So the fishery would have incentitives for both groups to move to a drift fishery. In addition, this would provide direction to DNR, ADF&G, and DEC that they need to provide infrastructure to handle this type of fishery.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,293

    Default

    I think I would support a non-moterized use increase along the lines Nerka wrote.
    As for the increased traffic on the sterling Hwy.......does the upper portion of the road above skilak seem any busier than the lower? If anything I'd say it is less busy. It is, however, drift only. So I dont' really see that much traffic increase. Folks drift boats are a pain. You have to arrange transport at least once. A lot of people just won't do that. So in all I like the idea. Now we debate now guides vs non, but what will happen when drift boats (both guides and non) that totally hog a hole? I only ask as I have heard it is common on many drift only rivers.
    I also like it b/c if it did go to drift only the one thing we would all want (IMO) is more access points. As a bankie I would like that a lot. I walk to fish, and the more access/parking/river edge I can get to the happier I am. Having said that I would want it (access points) done right; trails, no hard use, direct access to the water so vegatation doesn't get trampled. I am thinking specifically of Jim's landing. I know that wouldn't be as easy as the upper river, but I would want the debate on use to include the bank fisher.
    Last edited by Akbrownsfan; 09-05-2007 at 12:50. Reason: grammer

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Mark, I proposed 200 powerboats on the river at any one time. I suggested that powerboat operators be split the days of operation up. For 3 days guide only powerboats operate in the morning, for 3 days recreational fisherman operate in the morning. The recreational angler gets weekends. The group not fishing in the morning gets the afternoon (starting at 4 pm or so) so powerboat guides and recreational anglers get 6 days a week and are not in competition.

    Incentives for the drift boat fisherman are they get to fish 7 days a week whenever they want, there is no limit on drift boat guides or the time they fish. However, if you are a powerboat guide you cannot participate in the drift boat fishery in the lower river. No problem from the Soldotna bridge upstream.

    .
    If you want less boats on the river require a minimum of 5 people per boat, kinda like the car pool only lanes in Seattle. Instead of 2 boats with 2 people and one boat with 1 person you will have 1 boat with 5 people in it. That might make sense but I don't expect anyone to adopt that idea.

    Is the crowding perception about the total # of boats or the total number of people? I think more anglers fish the Kenai from the bank riverwide than fish it from boats, yet I hear no discussion about limiting bank fishing hours/days.

    Would there be a discussion like this if all of the guides were not required to put the big target that says "Kenai guide" on the side of their boats??

    I don't like the drift only idea much, but if I put my emotions aside I do think that that is what would be best for everyone including the fish. But not with some people fishing from power boats. I don't expect to get special priveleges just because I can afford to buy the license. If you are going to require some people to use drift boats, I think that I should have to use one to. (all or none)

  10. #10
    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    637

    Default

    Marcus, excellent post. My humble $.02 below . . . .
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    1) Should we move toward a non-motorized Kenai River?
    Yes. Long term it's what's best for the long term health of the river and the fish. Does it impose a cost? Yes, but no more than any other solution, and less than many others.

    2) Should such a move be done as a measure to reduce the number of guides, reduce pollution, reduce the number of people period on the river, some other reason, or a combination of the above?
    I imagine we would have to decide what the objective is before we start addressing problems . . . Overall, the drift-boat-only option really addresses only pollution, as it's the only one that can be objectively measured. All of the other reasons mentioned are based on perceptions and emotions (or politics). [/quote]

    3) Will more restrictions be necessary should the Kenai go to drift only?

    I guess I'd want to define what it is we're trying to restrict and why we're trying to restrict it. Are we trying to limit the number of fish caught? Limit the number of tourists using the river? Limit the number of guides? Limit the number of out-of-state-guides? The only problems I'm familiar with that are not based on anecdotal suppositions is 1) the health of the early run fish, and 2) the overcrowding on the river the last two weeks of July.

    4) If the Kenai were to go drift-only, would boat-ferrying traffic change traffic trends on the Sterling Hwy?

    Probably, but I don't think the impact would be as great as the impact on the river currently is. I also think #5 below would address this . . .

    5) Will more put-in/take-out access points be considered if the Kenai should move toward drift-only?

    It would probably require more launches/take-outs, but not significantly more.

    A positive post Marcus, should generate some positive ideas.

    Cheers,

    SH

  11. #11
    Mark
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Mark, I proposed 200 powerboats on the river at any one time. I suggested that powerboat operators be split the days of operation up. For 3 days guide only powerboats operate in the morning, for 3 days recreational fisherman operate in the morning. The recreational angler gets weekends. The group not fishing in the morning gets the afternoon (starting at 4 pm or so) so powerboat guides and recreational anglers get 6 days a week and are not in competition.

    Incentives for the drift boat fisherman are they get to fish 7 days a week whenever they want, there is no limit on drift boat guides or the time they fish. However, if you are a powerboat guide you cannot participate in the drift boat fishery in the lower river. No problem from the Soldotna bridge upstream.....
    Thanks for that answer. It's straight and to the point. So far it looks very fair, but I'm beginning to see a problem which I'll ask about below.

    ......Powerboat permits will be issued by DNR based on competitive bidding and will be for 10 years. Alaskan residents get a 5 point advantage in a 100 point scale (this is very close to what the State does for construction contracts).....
    I would suggest a shorter permit period, certainly no more than 5 years and probably better at 3, so that people who were outbid aren't locked out so long. It might help from what the big problem is which I point out below.

    ....Other factors in the selection process would be experience, amount of money bid for the permit, type of vessel if we want to promote a certain vessel design - etc....
    Here's where I bet you'll have problems. This is beginning to look like the Tier II situation where a list of selection criteria is used to determine who gets the access. I appreciate your competitive bid foundation, but if you use other selection criteria as well, I'm sure you'll see lawsuits, and once the courts get ahold of it, they'll dictate what eventually happens............

    ....So the fishery would have incentitives for both groups to move to a drift fishery. In addition, this would provide direction to DNR, ADF&G, and DEC that they need to provide infrastructure to handle this type of fishery.
    I think your plan is fairly well thought out, but I think you should consider the threat of lawsuit with selection criteria, though.

    Your proposal brings a couple of other questions to mind:

    1) The Kenai River now has lots of riverfront residents, complete with docks and marinas. If the river goes 100% drift/float, will they be forever banned from fishing from their powerboats? How do you think that would fare in court?

    2) Is it possible that a 200 powerboat per day on the water scheme like what you've proposed could simply continue on? Would 200 powerboats per day satisfy enough people to keep this out of court and keep the riverfront residents happy.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,293

    Default Great!

    Man we can discuss stuff without getting crazy! (I have been reading BOF proposals and it is hard to believe we can get along at all after reading them.)

    What about not letting resident FISH from powerboats but use them at will. It would still be an enforcement problem, but it would be something.

    Also Nerka what would stop either user group from overlapping times? Once again an enforcement issue, but a real one. Say it is a guide morning, and a bunch of resident boaters show up at say an hour before thier time?

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Anchorage
    Posts
    97

    Default Sounds complicated..

    Nerka, I am with you in principle on promoting the use of drift boats on the Kenai. I do have a couple of questions on your proposals however…

    Your proposal does not specifically mention the sockeye sport fishery – how do you envision red anglers, or trout anglers for that matter, would fit in with your proposal?

    Is your suggested power boat cap for the entire river? If so how do you think this might be managed and/or enforced?

    Would it not be simpler for managers and anglers to simply add a couple of extra drift only days where guided anglers could also participate? Or a drift only section of river? Wouldn’t these simple regulatory shifts provide incentive for anglers to shift to drift boats? - I am sure you have considered these options before-what am I missing?

    Personally, I think a season long slot limit for Chinooks would help substantially reduce pressure on the river without all the complications of capping guides etc. - I realize that this probably is not palatable to everyone.

    Cheers

    Joel

  14. #14

    Default Ageed

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel in Alaska View Post
    Personally, I think a season long slot limit for Chinooks would help substantially reduce pressure on the river without all the complications of capping guides etc. Joel

    Or , make the river catch and release only for Kings, and the pressure would fall off considerably during May, June, and first half of July.

    I would rather see harvest restrictions put in place before access restrictions, at least initially to see what impact they have before any drastic changes to how we are accessing the river.

    -sc

  15. #15
    Mark
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sockeye Charlie View Post
    Or , make the river catch and release only for Kings, and the pressure would fall off considerably during May, June, and first half of July.

    I would rather see harvest restrictions put in place before access restrictions, at least initially to see what impact they have before any drastic changes to how we are accessing the river.
    Great point. I agree.

  16. #16
    New member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    5,639

    Question Kenai River management and earmark questions. . .

    See the General Discussion forum,"Catching fish, netting earmarks. . ?" thread for more questions about Kenai River management.


  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel in Alaska View Post
    Nerka, I am with you in principle on promoting the use of drift boats on the Kenai. I do have a couple of questions on your proposals however…

    Your proposal does not specifically mention the sockeye sport fishery – how do you envision red anglers, or trout anglers for that matter, would fit in with your proposal?

    Is your suggested power boat cap for the entire river? If so how do you think this might be managed and/or enforced?

    Would it not be simpler for managers and anglers to simply add a couple of extra drift only days where guided anglers could also participate? Or a drift only section of river? Wouldn’t these simple regulatory shifts provide incentive for anglers to shift to drift boats? - I am sure you have considered these options before-what am I missing?

    Personally, I think a season long slot limit for Chinooks would help substantially reduce pressure on the river without all the complications of capping guides etc. - I realize that this probably is not palatable to everyone.

    Cheers

    Joel
    The sockeye fishery would not be impacted. The permits would be for fishing so transport and movement along the river by other users would not be regulated, unless at some time in the future that activity creates an environmental concern.

    There are a host of options for adding drift boat days but what I see is the threat of lawsuits by the guide industry. I believe that with my proposal guides cannot say they are displaced or selectively targeted. Each user group has the same number of permits (we can debate the actual number) and of course everyone has access on the drift boat days without limitations.

    I have no problem adding drift only days but the Board of Fish has not seen fit to do that given the political and social costs of that approach. The proposal I put forth can be done via DNR regulations which is a different approach to the issue.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Soldotna AK
    Posts
    506

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post

    Incentives for the drift boat fisherman are they get to fish 7 days a week whenever they want, there is no limit on drift boat guides or the time they fish. However, if you are a powerboat guide you cannot participate in the drift boat fishery in the lower river. No problem from the Soldotna bridge upstream.


    So the fishery would have incentitives for both groups to move to a drift fishery. In addition, this would provide direction to DNR, ADF&G, and DEC that they need to provide infrastructure to handle this type of fishery.
    I am not for the drift boat / power boat combination because it’s just too hard to keep your drift boat in a slide or tracking well with power boats running by. It’s the wake from the power boat that will turn your drift boat sideways and will entangle your lines, you can also lose control of your drift boat totally if 7, 8,or 9 power boats come by at the same time. So what ends up is the drifter fishes off there anchor and that’s when the holes get plugged. I have tried to make my way down river when the power boat fleet was out quiet a few times and it’s just not safe. Now if it were Drift Only from the Moose river to the Soldotna bridge 24/7 for Guides that might be more of an incentive to move toward a drift boat fishery.?.
    With a slot limit change every King over a Cretan size gets turned back.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Anchorage
    Posts
    97

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    There are a host of options for adding drift boat days but what I see is the threat of lawsuits by the guide industry. I believe that with my proposal guides cannot say they are displaced or selectively targeted. Each user group has the same number of permits (we can debate the actual number) and of course everyone has access on the drift boat days without limitations.
    On what basis could guides claim unfair treatment if another DB day was added open to all users? Or the introduction of DB only zones? I agree with fishook that there might be some compatability issues if people were trying to use DBs and power boats to sportfish in the same place and time.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,526

    Default BOF different from DNR

    Adding drift boat days requires the Board of Fish to go through allocation criteria - there are about 8 different criteria to pass or discuss. The BOF typically uses fishing methods to allocate the harvest between guided and non-guided anglers. As shown in Akkona's data that harvest split is pretty even right now.

    The BOF can use habitat issues but they must treat everyone equally. Unfortunately, there is a court order saying guides cannot be limited until a carrying capacity study is completed. There is no study planned before the BOF 2008 meeting so the chance of serious consideration of guide limitations is poor, which a drift boat fishery would be viewed as by the courts. Powerboat guides are treated differently than drift boat guides.

    Just my opinion so we will see what the BOF will do in 2008

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •