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Thread: Kenai Hydrocarbon results 2008

  1. #1

    Default Kenai Hydrocarbon results 2008

    The forum has been awfully quiet about the headlines in today's Peninsula Clarion.
    ".....water sampling reveals two thirds drop in hydrocarbon levels."

    So, do you still think the old 2 cycle motors weren't the difference? Fire away and let's not say the 50hp increase made the river unsafe this summer.

  2. #2
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    Default What does it really mean?

    I would have to guess that a 2/3 drop is either meaningless or that a even larger reduction is stil needed.

    It would be an odd situation that a 2/3 drop would take a situation from too much to perfectly O.K.!

    Did they still allow the fishing tenders to run their 2 strokes back and forth from the dock to the big boats? My understanding that 2 strokes on the lower river were still O.K. unless you were directly involved in fishing from the 2 stroke powered boat. In my opinion if the 2 strokes are all that bad bane them all - not just the sport and personal use fishermen.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Every time I went I saw fewer boats dipping than in past years, many fewer boats. Sure the 2 strokes are bad, but fewer boats=less hydrocarbons. Too bad there wasn't a boat census in the lower river, we'd see if there were 2/3s fewer boats!

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    Two-thirds reduction?

    No surprise there... remember dirty 2 strokes were 75% of the problem to begin with.

    Now that most of them are gone, it's a no braineer that the impact would be HUGE!

    Now let's finish the rest of the job!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    There are boat censuses for the lower river.

    Here is the link for the adn article:

    http://www.adn.com/kenai/story/526306.html

    Also note that this was a low water year so there was less dillution, therefore increasing the results.

    Let the games begin........I am out.

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    Default King fishing and PU Fishing Effort was down for sure...

    Remember guys.... Pillars was a ghost town on 4th July... By the end of the month things where more normal, but still it was oddly quiet out their for more than one occation this year.

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    Ty, they did the testing around the 20th or so of the month, they tried to hit the peak usage and days that went over HC levels in previous years. I haven't seen the boat count data and am not sure if it is available yet. Remember to that flows were down therefore concentrating the HC's. Overall there was a huge improvement. The regulation appears to be working.

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    Default I have no doubt.....

    I think BOTH regulations are working for sure.... Just understand that there is no doubt in my mind that effort in July was down...

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Ty, they did the testing around the 20th or so of the month, they tried to hit the peak usage and days that went over HC levels in previous years. I haven't seen the boat count data and am not sure if it is available yet. Remember to that flows were down therefore concentrating the HC's. Overall there was a huge improvement. The regulation appears to be working.

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    I agree effort was down overall in July. Although the traditionally busy days were very busy. I did not dipnet this year but from those I talked with said it was crazy with boats, and some very big fast boats. I am not sure when the boat counts will be out, it will be interesting to see the numbers and compare it to when the samples were done and how it measures up to the last few years.

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    I just spent about 15 minutes looking through old threads about HC's and 50 hp etc.....kinda funny to look back at some of the predictions.........

  11. #11

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    Amen, brother...

  12. #12
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcman View Post
    The forum has been awfully quiet about the headlines in today's Peninsula Clarion.
    ".....water sampling reveals two thirds drop in hydrocarbon levels."

    So, do you still think the old 2 cycle motors weren't the difference? ......
    Dunno', because the source of the hydrocarbon decline has not been proven. According to the ADN article, the re-testing methods did not match the original tests or methods:

    .......On July 19, 20 and 22, the watershed forum sampled water on both sides of the river in deep and shallow water at River Mile 1.5. The group conducted aerial surveys to count boats on the river.

    Oasis Environmental Inc., an Anchorage consulting and engineering firm, sampled the river at Miles 5 and 10.1. About 300 samples were taken........
    The scientific method differs substantially from the political method:

    .....To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[1] A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.[2]

    Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methodologies of knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable in order to dependably predict any future results......
    You cannot take one set of tests today, declare a scientific problem, take an action, then take different follow up tests later and declare success.......


    .......Unless it was a political instead of scientific goal..............

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    Mark, I didn't see where the methodology was different. Water tests don't vary significantly.
    I found Rufner's following sequence of comments interesting:

    "I'd say we're at least halfway home," said Robert Ruffner, president of the Kenai Watershed Forum, one of two independent organizations contracted by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to monitor water quality in the Kenai during the king salmon fishery.

    On July 19, 20 and 22, the watershed forum sampled water on both sides of the river in deep and shallow water at River Mile 1.5. The group conducted aerial surveys to count boats on the river.

    Oasis Environmental Inc., an Anchorage consulting and engineering firm, sampled the river at Miles 5 and 10.1. About 300 samples were taken.

    "We didn't have any samples that came close to exceeding the state water quality standards (of 10 parts per billion)," Ruffner said.


    What does he mean by half way home?? Doesn't make any sense.

  14. #14

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    I think he meant halfway home because it takes two years of results below the statewide standard before DEC can apply to have the river removed from the Catagory 5 imparied waterbody listing.

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    Default not sure of this

    I believe you are correct Akkona. However, we need to look at the bigger picture which means the long term. If the measured levels are near 7-8 ppb at river mile 1.5 that does not leave much for growth in the fishery. It was obviously lower this year as some people did not replace their motors and may wait for a few years to do so ( the 1200 dollar energy rebate may help purchase some engines). Also, river mile 1.5 is tidal and predicting what will happen in a tidal area is difficult.

    The bigger issue on the horizon is turbidity. It will be interesting to see how those measurements turn out. I suspect they will violate the standards by a significant amount.

    The bottom line is that this river is being pushed on a number of fronts and maybe we should think about the long term view of the river as opposed to one to two years.

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default Calling a spade a spade...

    Anyone who tries to put a negative spin on this issue is just flatulating out their keyboard.

    This news can't be interpreted as anything short of a true blessing for the river.

    Rob Ruffner spearheaded the effort to publicize just how bad the HC discharges were, and the KWF and DEC colloborated with swift and decisive action to do something about it.

    The results are commendable. This watershed event will go down in history as the single-most beneficial conservation effort the Kenai has witnessed in the past 3 decades.

    I tip my hat to Ruffner and the KWF for sticking it all out there, exposing themselves to suffer the wrath of public opinion.

    You are vindicated, my friend, and deserve a HUGE pat on the back. I'm saving a round of Alaskan Ambers and an open seat on my boat for you!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Mark, I didn't see where the methodology was different. Water tests don't vary significantly.....
    According to the ADN, only two locations were tested in the re-testing program (mile 10.1 and mile 5), and only for three days.

    The original test sampled 20 different sites.

    If areas upstream from the banned-two-cycle-area also saw lower hydrocarbons as well, it would clearly show that another phenomenon was responsible or partly responsible.

    But it wasn't.

    And it won't.............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    According to the ADN, only two locations were tested in the re-testing program (mile 10.1 and mile 5), and only for three days.

    The original test sampled 20 different sites.

    If areas upstream from the banned-two-cycle-area also saw lower hydrocarbons as well, it would clearly show that another phenomenon was responsible or partly responsible.

    But it wasn't.

    And it won't.............

    RM 1.5 was also tested. If I remember correctly that RM tested the highest in the past. Looks that it was over 3 times lower than the highest measurements in the past years. They sampled the historically highest boat count and HC days.


    Nerka, what is the limit on turbidity, as defined by the state? I would love to see the methodology for that study.

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    Default comment for doc

    Doc, no one said that the short term results are meaningless. However, if you are aware of the Clean Water Act and EPA standards one needs to define a program for the long term. That is not a negative just a plain spoken fact. I am sure the river will come off the impaired river status for the short term. The question is whether the planning is sufficient to keep it off. I maintain it is not since the process was polluted by the rush to regulation. The end does not justify the means. The same regulations would have come out of a better process but so would have a long term view and program of monitoring and reporting. That is the issue I raised.

    Yukon, the standard is 5 NTU's (measure of turbidity) over the background levels. The turbidity in the river is probably 20-50 NTU"S higher than background on high use days. Kenai Watershed forum presented some of these data to the public last year and it was presented to the Board of Fisheries in Feb.

    The continued high use of the river just cannot continue without running into these problems. The hydrocarbons were an easy short term solution. The turbidity issue is not so easy.

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    Nerka, there are way too many factors on the turbidity issues, two off the top of my mind are the Killey River system and high tides, those must be accounted for. I saw one of the testing instruments this summer, not sure what it was testing but it was about 3 feet from the shore, totally different water than mid-channel. Heck, you can see the turbidity levels rise below Beaver Creek where you are more tidally influenced and the bottom and shore substrate change. I really see this as a non-issue when it comes to salmon production in the Kenai. IMO, a made-up problem created by some standard that was chosen from some single study. Turbidity is just another ploy to get powerboats off the river.

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