Friends don't let friends launch at Eagle Rock!
Over the past couple of years I have used Eagle rock because it is a convenient place to tie up the boat over night while camping in their parking lot - The (guy) owner has always been willing to make a deal early season that works out for both parties, so we used their launch even though it is noisy and more cramped as the season progresses.
Earlier this season I arrived late at night with my RV and boat in Tow (11:30 pm or so). This time there was a semi-cranky lady guarding the gate and she wanted 30 dollars for the boat to be tied up for two nights (reasonable) plus another 120 dollars for RV camping for two nights (Not going to happen, no friggin way!). After thinking about it for a while we came to an arrangement where I would launch the boat, tie it up while not there, and I would camp elsewhere - I have a vacant lot in Kenai, plus there is the option of camping at the city parks for a fraction of the cost. So the deal to Launch and camp elsewhere should work well for both of us as she gets Launch fees for 2 days even though I only tie up the ramp once and I get to drive to the launch, get out of the RV, cast off and start fishing. Win win for everyone (so you would think).
I launched the boat, tied up to a tree and proceeded to get my gear ready so that I could get on the river well before the guides and sleep during the day. NOBODY in either lot so I decide to park next to the boat and keep the RV and trailer out of the way so that it is not using valuable space during the launch area in the morning (where the guides normally park). Mind you I had to change over Trebble hooks to Siwash, rig my rods etc. etc. as this was my first trip of the season and my home life has left me under prepared for my first nights' fishing. Rather ather than doing that alone on the boat at night I turned on the light and did it at the table in the RV. About 35 minutes later the lady drives down and accuses me of camping. She wants 60 dollars. Mind you I'm wide awake - Rv not leveled, no campfire, no closed curtains, no shananigans - I'm awake, at the table getting gear ready. After several unproductive minutes of "your camping"..."no I'm not"..."Your camping"...She storms off in a huff. I figure Ok - I'll be on the water within the hour(by 2am), on the river till 11am and then I'll talk things over with the guy owner type in the early afternoon on my way to my CAMPING place. Next thing I know there are a couple of Kenai's finest who have been called by the allegedly crazy lady. They do an excellent job of listening and mediating, but the end result is me pulling my boat out of the water, getting my money back from the allegedly crazy lady (which she was unwilling to do at first) and relaunching at Pillars. Nevertheless I was on the river by 3am and enjoyed a drama free morning fishing until 11am that morning (just like I said I was going to).
Long story long, though - Eagle Rock is now grossly over priced and the owner (I think she is an owner any way) is front loaded to accuse people of theft of services and press charges without grounds. Just wanted to give fair warning to anyone who has used the place in the past without incident (like myself) or who is thinking about using them in the future. She didn't need to tell me I was not welcome back as she couldn't pay me enough to launch there ever again. I'll gladly fight the rocks crowds and current at pillars to avoid her shallow portage and drama any day!
Final note - I met a trooper at the dock at pillars and after engaging in a friendly conversation and sharing this same story (I'm telling it to anyone who will listen now) he told me that she had accused HIM of theft of services while he was working near the launch at her property. If I remember the story right He informed her of of his right to perform his job there (being a wildlife trooper and all) and she backed off and asked him for a bunch of information on the regulations regarding theft of services (which he provided to her). He also stated that this is her first year working the gate that he can remember and that she is already gaining quite the reputation.
Sooo....consider skipping the drama, the police and the added head ache and give your hard earned money to someone else. In retrospect it is perfectly clear to me why her site was nearly deserted for the remainder of the day (I couldn't resist to taking a couple of slow passes on my way up and down the river).
Haven't had quite the experience you had there, but I'd believe it. They're charging $15 for a drift boat haul out...a little high, but not too terrible....until you find out that they're also going to charge you $10 to park your truck and trailer there!
I have no idea what they're charging now. Last year when dip net season opened they doubled their prices across the board! A drift boat pull out went from $10 to $20 (they weren't charging you a parking fee last year) and a power boat launch went from $20 to $40. Sadly, most people didn't think twice about it and paid. Then again, what are your options??? Unless you have access to a private launch, you're options are fairly limited.