Megan Peters | Alaska Department of Public Safety
(KENAI, Alaska) – With this weekend’s influx of Alaskans that are expected to make an appearance on the Kenai Peninsula for the personal use fishery, Alaska Wildlife Troopers would like to pass on some friendly reminders for the people (not the fish.) Once you arrive at the fishery – located on Kenai Beach a mile north and south of the river mouth and in the water in front of the mouth north of the Kenai boat harbor – please remain courteous and patient to motorists and fellow fishermen. With upwards of 35,000 permits issued, the fishery will be congested on land and water. If fishing from a boat, make sure you have all of the required boating safety equipment, especially personal flotation devices — many people this year have already been cited for not having required equipment. It is a good idea to wear you PFDS at all times when you’re around water because they’ve proven to save lives. Be courteous to other boaters and watch your wake.
There are several nicely maintained cleaning stations in the Kenai and Soldotna areas. AWT suggests you use one away from the fishery to reduce congestion. Regardless of where a fish is cleaned, remember to ensure the waste is properly disposed of. Leaving fish waste on the beach could result in a littering charge, it is also a nuisance to other people recreating in the area. If you dispose of fish waste in the river, try to ensure it gets out into the fast moving current and not into your neighbors’ net. Not getting it out into the fast water may result in the waste being washed ashore during the next tide cycle.
Common violations the AWT Troopers come across are during this fishery and others are:
- Failing to record your catch on your permit before concealing your catch from view and or leaving your fishing sight.
- Failing to mark personal use fish by clipping both lobes of the caudal fin before concealing your catch from view and or leaving your fishing sight.
- Failure to obtain a personal use permit before fishing. It is required to possess, on your person, a Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Permit and valid 2015 Alaska Resident Sport Fish license while dip netting.
- Keeping a prohibited species. Remember King Salmon, Dolly Varden and Rainbow trout may not be retained.
- Non-residents may not participate in the Personal Use fishery. This includes driving a boat and handling the fish.
The traffic down to the Kenai Peninsula will likely be very congested due to the size of the run expected. Please be patient and courteous while traversing the highways to and from your destination. If you are traveling slower than the posted speed limit and slowing down traffic, please pull over in a pull out and let others pass. If you are passing, use extreme caution and common sense. There are stretches of the highway that are currently constructions zones, be cautious and patient in these areas. Plan a head of time to for delays to stay calm and practice safe driving behaviors at all times.
To report a violation, please call our dispatch center at (907)262-4453. The quicker the report is received the better our chances of catching the violator.
The Soldotna Wildlife Trooper Post can be reached at (907)262-4573. Call AWT to report a violation or to seek clarification on regulation. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game can also provide information of the regulations. ADF&G can be reached at (907)262-9368. Good Luck!