I just returned from another great trip to Alaska. We spent most of our time at the Russian River area and managed to catch our limit basically every day. The bear-viewing was an added bonus. The weather was good. Overall, we had a great time. I'm not an expert, but a number of incidents involving poor ethics, judgement, and common courtesy by some individuals could have really hampered the experience.
Yes, these things are going to happen in these crowded conditions, but many are just plain silly...
firing a warning shot from a pistol up a heavily used pathway to scare
away bears that had no interest in people
a man wedging between two fisherman and then inviting the rest of
his group to join as well
taking someone's spot while he is landing/stringing his fish
refusing to stop casting and move when someone slightly upsteam is
bringing his fish in
actually "casting" over multiple lines of people while they are doing the
the girlfriend technique- when the female of a couple squeezes into
crowded part of the line, as if she has an exemption, with the male
joining a short time later
the super fisherman that tries to set a new record on how quickly he
can get his limit, not stringing, disabling, or bleedding his fish,
before throwing them on the bank to flop, becoming a bear
The list goes on. I hope that this is caused mostly from lack of education, not intentional disregard of proper etiquette. There are some resources that outline correct fishing procedure, but we need a way to ensure that all fisherman have the basic knowledge of these guidelines.
I have some ideas on how this can be achieved. Perhaps signs and brochures should be placed/given at the ferry and campground. I am not for more regulations, but maybe the only way to ensure that everyone knows the ropes would be to require a permit to fish the fly-fishing only area. This could be attained after watching an instructional video, reading a manual, attending a short instructional course, passing a written test, or some other means given in the language of your choice by ADF&G.
We have one of the best fisheries in the world at the Russian, and I think that with proper education, even with the large numbers of people, everyone can enjoy it.