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Kenai River DEC comment period on impaired listing

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  • #61
    Short and long of it all is there is a problem.

    2 stroke motors have been on their way out for some time now. Just no fast enough for some.

    All the proposed solutions so far seem to be one sided or will have other effects. Example-more drift days, how does that effect the remainder of the week?

    Even though Marcus disagrees with me I still stand by my comment that banning the use of a motor while fishing is the most equal way to a solution. The only way to evenly distribute a reduction in pollution is to minimize the amount of time that "any" motor is running. Backtrolling or drifting fishing (with a motor) are the 2 most common ways the Kenia is fished for Kings. By using either of these methods the motor is running the entire time you are fishing. There are other methods of fishing for Kings used everywhere else and they work!

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    • #62
      35-50 hp

      Some information gleened from DEC, DNR, ADF&G, and the Watershed Forum.

      1. Going from 35 to 50 hp will put more fuel into the river even if all the motors are 4 stroke. A 40% increase in horsepower means an increase in fuel consumption to move the same displacement (some argue it is 1:1 so it will be 40% more fuel). So while one group gives up the other group gets to put more fuel into the river. Not one agency expert takes exception to this comment.

      2. The phase one boat wake study did not say a 12% reduction with 50HP for the larger boats. It was an average. For larger vessels the reduction was significantly less. The study did indicate that displacement was the issue and that horsepower should be matched to displacement - which means hull design and load. This regulation change does just the opposite. It picks a horsepower which is less than half what the boat is designed to take.

      3. The reduction of wave height does not translate to less erosion. That is based on the energy needed to erode the type of soils at the bank and the number of waves hitting the bank. So if use increases as a result of this regulation or the energy is not reduced below a threshold value for soil type it may mean nothing for the erosion issue. In addition, the traffic pattern on the river relative to the adjacent banks is important. If congestion requies stopping and starting numerous times at these spots erosion can be signficant if the adjacent soils are highly erodible.

      4. The 50 hp and 21 foot boat length limitation means over time the average boat size will increase toward the 21 feet and away from the present average which is less because of the 35 hp limitation. Thus larger average boats size means larger average wakes and that detracts from the % reduction figures cited above.

      5. Use patterns may increase as those who did not detune their 50 hp engines may start to fish the river with a 50 hp regulation. Thus more wakes hitting the bank.

      In summary, to take one variable and try to make a case for erosion reduction is just not supportable. It is typical of what happens when there is a poltiical objective being pushed through - those who gain are trying to use a single piece of data out of context about wave height to justify it.

      Multiple variate problems require complex thinking and problem solving - not the simplistic approach DNR has proposed. Since I know a number of people in DNR and ADF&G they recognized that the 50 hp was pushed by the guide representatives to make it easier to move their loads. I do not blame the guides. I would ask the same consideration. However, DNR needs to look beyound those self interest.

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