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Thread: Drift-only days on the Kenai... your thought?

  1. #1
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default Drift-only days on the Kenai... your thought?

    Let 'er rip, boys!

    Gotta run to the Social Security office to get my 17 yr senior a new card after school.

    I'll be back.
    "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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    Default love ya!

    Way to go Doc. The other thread was getting cluttered.

    Now this is specifically to addres to much oppertunity right? (couldn't resist)
    Or to address the problem of to much pressure on the Kenai. I brought it up in another thread..ahem, and had a good response.
    What about the landowners on islands? Or the folks that own property on the bank that can only be accessed with a motorboat. I'd say they are grandfathered in, and most likely would kill the driftboat idea. Since I have absolutely no stake in this (and can actually afford a drift boat or raft) I'd like drift only. Seems to work on the Kasilof, but that is an entirely different river.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd love to see the lower Kenai go drift-only after July 1st on the lower 8 miles of river (or the entire river, if that's what it would take to make it happen), along with a closure on king fishing above that same marker. I know that it would be politically unpalatable, but it would be a step in the right direction.

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    Drift only would be nice. More practically though, how about keeping things (guided days, hours, etc., etc...) as they are now, but add a couple more drift only days. Say something like Monday, Wednesday, & Friday as drift only? Guides can still do their thing on Wed & Fri, but from a drift boat. I'm sure this proposal would meet a fair amount of opposition, but I don't think it's too bad of a compromise.

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    Default Public poll. . .

    The Peninsula Clarion ran a poll last year on the drift-boat question. If memory serves, the respondents to the poll, most likely area residents for the most part, were in favor of a drift-only fishery by about a two-to-one margin.

    One could call the Clarion for the exact wording and final poll numbers.


  6. #6

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    I love the drift only days. I just love the peace and quite of a DB the most. You can make an all day float on the lower really easy. There are some great spots where you row more than one drift as well. With all drift days though the river would be very cluttered like the ditch. Oh wait it aready is in July

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    I'm sure the majority of the folks would vote yes to drift only days on the kenai,including me.But the reality is that it's all about the money,you would have a hard time making enough money running drift boat only guided trips,also i'm sure the local buisness would suffer for awhile until there was enough guides to service all the clients that would love to fish the kenai. Just me 2 cents...

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    Smile Hardly a ripple. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by sheep man View Post
    . . . it's all about the money,you would have a hard time making enough money running drift boat only guided trips,also i'm sure the local buisness would suffer for awhile until there was enough guides to service all the clients that would love to fish the kenai. . .
    I don't think local business would suffer much if at all. It's the sockeye fishery that is by far the big money-maker for the local economy. Yes, the lodges that cater to the giant king clientele might have to tighten their belts for a bit, but that's about all as I see it.


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    Default this ought to be interesting

    No pollution
    No extra muddy afternoons
    No boatwake erosion / extra property loss

    No doubt this would be better for the river, are we putting the river first? think habitat and all that rhetoric.

    What individuals and what organizations support this, and what organizations don't?

    you're pretty connected doc, whattya know?

  10. #10

    Default Drift only issues

    One problem I have seen with drift only rivers is the fact that once you pass a hole, it's gone. Lots of fishermen pass up holes to get to a lower hole they expect to be better, only to find that it's taken, then they are stuck or try to crowd to get in. I guess though, since there is no anchoring in most of it, then that wouldn't be that much of a problem. A guy better have a good rowing stroke though with no anchoring, especially those guides with 21 foot drift boats.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

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    And some of you think people were mad about the possibility of not being able to use their 2 stroke, but these same people are going to be okay with drift only, even if it is 2 or 3 more days. What about bathroooms? What about takeouts? Basically you are transferr9ing "the ditch" to the Kenai, but with more drift boats. What about the old timer who can't row? I am 31, I can row all day, I have no property on the river and I can afford a drift boat, not a big deal to me if the river goes drift 27/7/365, but what about the guy who is 55 with a bad back from working on the slope? You think there is problems now with the power boat fishery, what till you put 300 more drift boats out there each day.
    Hydrocarbons, lets say the river goes drift every other day, you now push all the the power boats into half the days, more hydrocarbons on those days, remember most readings of high hydrocarbons was only 2 or so days a week, the busiest days, with more drift days you crowd powerboat days more.

    BTW, don't forget, as screwed up as you all may think the fishery is screwed up the fish are healthy, with all runs meeting and exceeding escapement. So, this really becomes a social/opportunity discussion cloaked in a habitat discussion.

    One thing I would like responders to post with their ideas, please post roughly how many days a year you fish the Kenai.

    Thanks.

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    Default Now you're talkin

    One at a time, Yukon

    What about bathrooms?
    Every 5 miles? Every 2 miles what do you think is needed? Ė Iím no guide, but no big deal on Monday for my cronies.

    What about takeouts?
    Every 5 miles? Every 2 miles what do you think is needed? Itís a hassle that there isnít something between Eagle and the bitter end Ė something with enough parking at or slightly before the W.A. Bridge would be just the ticket.

    What about the old timer who can't row?
    Well since theyíre not paying taxes to support the kids in high school, hereís there chance to contribute back to society.


    What about the guy who is 55 with a bad back from working on the slope?
    Same only w/o the smart-alecky tax remark

    lets say the river goes drift every other day
    Lets say the river goes drift every day for habitat

    remember most readings of high hydrocarbons was only 2 or so days a week
    Sorry, read the studies

    BTW, don't forget, as screwed up as you all may think the fishery is screwed up the fish are healthy, with all runs meeting and exceeding escapement.
    Oh yeah, think habitat, wait or itíll be too late

    So, this really becomes a social/opportunity discussion cloaked in a habitat discussion
    Couldnít disagree more, its been bassakward for so long people actually believe this

    One thing I would like responders to post with their ideas, please post roughly how many days a year you fish the Kenai
    Enough days and enough years to know that the only downside to this is itíll mess up the only pleasant day on the river we have now, once everyone get exposed to sanity.

  13. #13

    Default Dunno

    Well, Iv'e said all along that I would be willing to make sacrifices. And a drift only fishery would be the ultimate sacrifice on my part. Basically making my 30K kenai specific boat obsolete and what about accessing my property on an island that is boat only access all summer?Well....as you can see I have a vested interest in allowing some power boating to remain on the Kenai, so maybe my opinion counts less on this discussion as it would be biased.
    Adding a few drift only days would be fine by me, but making the entire season drift only would be a hardship for sure.

    On point I will make before I let you guys carry on is that I mainly launch and take out at Bings landing, and it gets very busy. It is my observation that most power boats on the middle river stay in the water tied to docks and in slips at dots fish camp etc...for weeks at a time alleviating much of the crowding at the launch site.

    Think about a fishery where everyone has to put in and take out on the same day with just one take out. Bings can be a zoo as it is, I can only imagine it would be worse in the above scenario.

    I spend on average 30-35 days a year on the water from mid May through October (Yep, I use all my vacation time). I would prefer adding extra drift day(s), rather than the alternative. I would imagine that a drift only fishery would allow land owners access to their property by power boat however, and just fishing from the powered vessel would be off limits. Dunno...

    One more point....I think the majority of power boats on the river in July (middle) are red fisherman.

    -sc

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    Default Yukon answer

    You asked how many days a year do you fish the Kenai? I would like to change that to How many days a year do you think about keeping the Kenai a healthy system? My answer is almost every day for the last 27 years.

    Second, your points on impacts of drift only days for a few days a week are valid questions. However, my point and others is that we should plan to move this river in more drift boats days over time and eventually get to a full drift boat fishery. Being 61 and a bad back I would do what I do know for fishing - I hire a guide or go with young friends. In a few years it will be my grandsons rowing -

    We need a long term plan for this river and in that plan choices on how to handle your issues should be taken up and dealt with.

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    Monday, not a big deal, add 300 boats and things change. How long are you willing to row infront of the pillars waiting for a spot to open up. You and your buddies, I agree, not a problem, a coffee can and all situations are covered, what about little old ladies etc....

    I do agree with you on the last point, add 3 more drift days and you now make it "justifiable" for more guys to buy a drift boat, there goes your pleasant day. No disagreement there.

    I figured my habitat vs. social/opportunity thing would raise an eyebrow or two. That comment is related to the slot limit thread where a conservation minded anger gets ripped on repeatedly for alterior motives, everything but fish conservation.

    Also, I did read the hydrocarbon studies, hydrocarbons were mostly exceeded on Sunday's and Tuesday's.

    Parking, well the vast majority of the drift boaters will now need two vehicles instead of one. Parking becomes an issue.

    No real answer for the fishermen who can't row, lets just leave them out of out of the fishery. It is okay to cut them out for a drift only fishery but heavan forbid you make them get rid of a dirty 2-stroke.

    Heck with those who can't afford to buy a drift boat.

    I guess this is one way of limiting opportunity.

    Who on this board has the guts to propose this to the BoF? My guess is it will go over as well as the "dipnet proposal".

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    Default DBM no power.

    I fill about the same way as sockeye,,, adding a few more drift days in there but not eliminating power altogether... Except on Mondays. Go to no power at all,,, that go's for red fishing from the bank. If you want to fish reds on a monday get there by drift boat or raft no more power boats running up and down the river playing taxi dropping off bank fishermen, maybe its just me but i thought it was called DBM for a reason. Sorry i blew up.

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    Thanks Nerka, I was typing my last post when you posted. I guess one would call it the "unintended consequences" of a drift plan. I just wanted to bring some of those up, playing devils adovocate if you will.

    Nerka, I agree with a long range plan, that would allow users to see what is on the horizion, similar to a 20 year transportation plan for Anchorage. I do believe there is some of that in the "master plan" for the KRSMA board. I believe that is partly the reason for the 50hp proposal, it was to be reviewed as outlined in the plan.

    Changing the Kenai to drift only will not solve the problems but create different ones that is all I am trying to say.

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    Default Not easy

    Yukon and others,

    I want to be clear that this would not be a simple and easy transition, but it is doable with PLANNING, which is about as common place here as narwhale bycatch is in the PU fishery.

    It would be best for the river to make this transition, thats my point and I'll stick to it.

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    Default My two cents

    I agree with Yukon in regards to the substantial increase in drift boat traffic that would come from this. Not everyone can afford a power boat, but, drift boats are quite inexspensive these days and I think the traffic at the limited amount of launches available would rival that of our current situation. What about a land owner like me who has a cabin on an island only accessable by power boat? A one way trip in and out of my cabin for the weekend doesn't sound feasable. Granted I run strictly the middle river,You still have the problem of limited launches and take out points.
    I fish 30 - 45 days per year.

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    Not disagreeing with you Lorax, but the Planning is where (realistically) the problem will take place. Just ask those that are trying to get rid of the 2-strokes.

    I don't understand how some on this board are so against ridding the river of 2-strokes because "Joe fishermen" and "mom and pop" can't afford a new motor, but are willing to make them buy a new boat for a drift boat only fishery. Where they may not be able to participate due to age or health. Not everyone has a kid or friend that is willing and able to row them down the river. Sure makes it hard for me to take a quick trip with my 2 young sons up and down the river and maybe a quick backtroll through a hole or 2.

    We all know the hurdles a drift only fishery will face, they are huge and the unintended consequences are not being discussed. Just my .02, might not even be worth that much. LOL

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