City of Kenai Preparing Management Strategy if Dipnet Hours are Increased

Posted: July 18, 2013 at 7:09 am

The Kenai River Personal Use Dipnet fishery is continuing to heat up, as a large amount of sockeyes are hitting the local river. Following last night’s meeting of the Kenai City Council, we spoke to Kenai City Manager Rick Koch who said that the city is preparing for the possibility of the fishery going to being open for 24-hours…

 

Koch: “Last year they went to 24-hour openings, and they did the year before. Those 24-hour openings are extremely problematic for us, that seven-hour window that we have to preform maintenance activities, which is even much more critical this year, because of all the dumpsters that we have that are actually on the beach, we have to access them from the beach. We need that seven-hours, so we don’t have the conflict with people trying to fish, and the dangers associated with large equipment moving around on the beach in the middle of the night.”

 

Koch said that yesterday, he spoke to Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell for a half an hour about the fishery…

 

Koch: “We chatted about this, and I understand her position on this, and it may be necessary for her, by emergency order, expand the hours of the fishery, and the city will make a decision whether or not we may attempt to supersede that in some areas of the beach, by declaring them closed in order to conduct safe maintenance operations. It will be confusing for fishery users, certainly  they’ll hear on one hand that its a 24-hour opening, and they may not find out until they show up here that they are in face unable to access certain parts of the beach.”

 

Koch said that it is the city’s goal to minimize negative impacts between fishery users and city crews.

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