New Kid on the Kenai. . .KAFC
There’s a new kid on the Kenai. The recently formed Kenai Area Fisherman’s Coalition has begun with 15 or so members, eight to ten of which are active and retired ADF&G and Federal fisheries scientists and biologists with a total of over 120 years of experience with the Kenai’s fisheries. KAFC’s meetings are open to the public, and the group anticipates membership drives in the future.
In the meantime, I received this by e-mail from one of KAFC’s members:
I am a member of a new group called "Kenai Area Fisherman's Coalition". We are a "Joe Fisherman" group of concerned scientific fisheries experts and recognized local private fishermen dedicated to preserving the rights of unguided anglers and personal use fishermen through proper fisheries management, sustained resource stability and balanced allocations between user groups. One of our main goals is to improve communications and inform private anglers of important issues that affect their fishing rights.
There is now an important issue that we believe needs all of our immediate attention. DEC has proposed to label the Kenai River as "Category 5 Impaired Waters" because of pollution problems associated with excessive outboard motor discharges of hydrocarbons. We applaud them for taking this stand to help protect our river. We have identified a cadre of possible solutions that may help in the long term.
1) No increase to 50 hp. DEC says this change would cause increased petroleum discharges.
2) Phase out non 2006 compliant 2-stroke motors by 2010.
3) Increase drift days for guided and unguided anglers.
4) Find a fair way to decrease and cap the guide industry.
5) Limit guides to one trip per day. Possible staggered starts.
6) Complete a carrying capacity study. May require daily reduction in total boat traffic.
7) Request a multi agency comprehensive study for long term solutions.
8) Work with all agencies to try to find a solution to restrict the adverse effects of the PU fishery.
9) Not allow any changes that would increase petroleum discharge levels.
I would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to send a letter or e-mail to DEC stating that you support their move to declare the Kenai River as "Category 5 Impaired Water" status. You can elaborate, if you wish, on your viewpoints on the subject. Comments have to be in by Dec. 1, so please don't delay. Send your comments to the following address;
Drew Grant, DEC firstname.lastname@example.org
P.O. Box 11180
410 Willoughby Ave. Ste. 303
Juneau, Ak. 99801
Thank you for helping all unguided anglers by participating in this important issue. Please share this with anyone you think would be interested in this endeavor. I will keep you informed of other issues pertaining to private anglers as they arise.
Thanks Much, Dwight [Kramer]
...thanks for the info, marcus
I made this comment on Bob Ball's site. Isn't Dwight Kramer the same person behind the change to allow snagging of sockeye? Sorry if I'm mistaken....
Almost. . .
The Dwight Kramer I know submitted a proposal to allow anglers to keep accidentally foul-hooked sockeye, not to allow snagging.
Originally Posted by tcman
I emailed the gentleman and asked when they will be meeting. If anyone else knows more about upcoming meetings please post. I am very interested in getting more informed and helping in any way I can.
phone number in the book
I talked to Mr. Kramer and he said his phone number is in the Kenai phone book and below on the letterhead.
He also indicated that the message he sent out was just a brainstorming of ideas to deal with the hydrocarbon issue. This was not an official position of the group per se. It was ideas for those who want to write to DEC as individuals. Also, he is not an officer of the group but is acting as the secretary while the secretary is out of town.
The official letter the group sent is as follows:
KENAI AREA FISHERMAN’S COALITION
47083 Belmont Ct. Kenai, Ak. 99611 * (907) 283-1054
Mr. Drew Grant, DEC November 7, 2006
P.O. Box 11180
410 Willouhby Ave. Ste. 303
Juneau, Ak. 99801
Dear Mr. Grant
This letter is from the Kenai Area Fisherman’s Coalition, which is newly formed organization of scientists and non-guided anglers of the Kenai Peninsula. Our organization’s purpose is to provide objective scientific comments on issues impacting Kenai Peninsula streams and rivers. At the present time we have 8 fishery biologists in our membership with a combined experience of over 120 years studying Kenai Peninsula ecosystems, with a strong focus on the Kenai River.
It is our opinion that the Kenai River should be listed as a Category 5 impaired water system. This is based on our knowledge of the data and process the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) conducted to arrive at this decision.
We would like to state that a number of the members of the organization were aware of this issue back in the early 1990’s with the publication of a report by Litchfield and Kyle (1992) entitled Kenai River Water Quality Investigations Completion Report prepared for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game(ADF&G). In addition, we have reviewed the reports by OASIS Environmental Inc and the Watershed Forum on hydrocarbon levels in the Kenai River. We found these reports to be creditable scientific documents. We would also like to see a comprehensive study of new data of comparable aquatic marine life in these lower estuaries so all of us can better determine what changes may have occurred over the last twenty five years. Studies on resident species and juvenile salmon, holding in these waters, may also provide information important to long range planning.
Finally, we have examined the report by Scannell, Dasher, Duffy, Perkins, and O’Hara entitled Acute and chronic toxicity of hydrocarbons in marine and fresh water with an emphasis on Alaska species, A review of the literature and found it well researched. The retention of the present standards for hydrocarbons appears to be defendable.
It is our assessment that DEC must list the river as a Category 5 since no recovery plan is in place and multiple agencies will have to be involved to prepare such a plan. For example, data from 2006 in the Kenai River indicated that a significant contribution to the hydrocarbon pollution comes from the personal use boat dip net fishery located below the Warren Ames bridge. While the Department of Natural Resources has authority to take action above the bridge they have no authority to take action below it. This will require the co-operation and participation of ADF&G and the Board of Fish. Only DEC can co-ordinate this recovery planning under your authority granted in the federal Clean Water Act.
It is our desire that DEC move quickly to start the process of preparing a recovery plan and implement phases of that plan by 2008. It is our opinion based on data presented and confirmed by DEC staff and director that increasing horsepower in the Kenai River, above the Warren Ames bridge, will not solve the hydrocarbon issue, and in fact may negatively contribute to the problem. We believe, that inevitably a reduction in boats or use patterns will be needed from the mouth of the river to river mile 19.
Thank you for having the courage to list the Kenai River and we look forward to working with you on the recovery plan.
Chairman, Kenai Area Fisherman’s Coalition
cc: DNR Commissioner
Board of Fish
House Fisheries Committee
Cook Inlet Keepers
Kenai Watershed Forum