During the recent Board of Fish work sessions in Anchorage, the board created a task force to look into the Kenai River Late Run King Salmon Management Plan. The task force is chaired by Board of Fish Members Vince Webster of King Salmon and Tom Kluberton of Talkeetna. The task force is made up with four commercial fisherman, three setnet fisherman and one driftnet fisherman, three sport fishermen, two sports fishers and one guided sport fisherman, one Personal Use user and one Marine Recreation user. That groups first meeting will be today, November 16th at the Kenai River Campus of the Kenai Peninsula College beginning at 9am.
Today’s town hall style meeting will likely focus on setnet related issues, the three setnetters selected for the group are well known members of the local commercial fishing community, Jim Butler, Ken Coleman, and KPFA President Robert Williams.
We spoke to Williams about what he hopes to get out of these meetings….
Williams: “Well, I think it’s always good to get the user groups together, especially when we have a big issue like this at affects everybody. One thing I’m hoping to get is the actual escapement counts from the last two years, because it’s go anywhere from there without that data from the department, we don’t know how many Kenai River late run king salmon escaped, so we don’t know what the surplus way, if we could have fished differently, if the department had more tools they could have used in able to get the setnetters in the water. Did they have to close the river? So that part of it is bothersome to me to start the task force without the final escapement counts from the past two-year, 2011 and 2012.”
The Drift representative is Ian Pitzman. Sport Fishers will be represented by Dwight Kramer and Kevin Delaney, who both have ties to the Kenai River Sport Fishing Association. Guided fisherman will be represented by Andy Szczesny, Personal use fisherman by Dennis Gease , and Marine Recreation fisherman by Luther Anderson.