Alaska Department of Fish and Game Northern Kenai Peninsula Area Manager Colton Lipka shares information with Kenai/Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Council Chair Mike Crawford as the advisory council deliberates their position on a proposal to the Board of Fish during a meeting at Cook Inlet Aquaculture in Kenai, Alaska on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Advisory council wraps up Fish and Game recommendations

The Kenai/Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Council met Thursday to discuss their position on the final set of proposals to the Board of Fish and Board of Game. This was the fourth consecutive meeting of the council to discuss proposals, a process which began Jan. 9.

Proposals to the boards are considered for each region of Alaska on a three-year cycle. The Southcentral region will have proposals considered this year, then not again until 2026. Advisory committees make their official recommendations known to the board ahead of those sessions.

On Thursday, the council discussed 13 proposals to the Board of Fish and four to the Board of Game.

Proposals officially supported by the council include a simplification of decal requirements for sport fishing guide vessel registration, expansion of the state’s invasive species list and an expansion of opportunity for residents of Port Lions and Ouzinkie to hunt elk.

Proposal 162 to the Board of Fish would allow a Kenai River Special Management Area Department of National Resources decal to serve as proof of Alaska Department of Fish and Game guide vessel registration. The proposal comes from the department. The group supported the proposal because the existing need for two decals is redundant.

Monte Roberts, a member of the advisory council, said a guide can’t get the decal from the Department of National Resources without already having the other from the Department of Fish and Game. The group unanimously supported the proposal.

Proposal 209 was unanimously approved by the local council. It would remove eight elk hunt permits from pool of 170 that are currently randomly drawn by hunters for territories owned by the Ouzinkie Native Corporation and the Afognak Native Corporation. The eight permits would be released in a registration hunt for local residents.

The group decided to support the proposal because the number of permits being removed from circulation was small, and because the land is owned by the Native corporations, who had made an inital proposal to the same effect out of frustration that their members have not drawn permits in the last few years.

Several Board of Fish proposals were opposed by the group that related to the ability for guides to operate in personal use fisheries. Proposals 163 and 164 would either prohibit guides or introduce new reporting and registration requirements, while 165 would prohibit guides in subsistence fisheries.

Personal use fishing is open only to Alaska residents. The group said there wasn’t a reason to prohibit or limit the use of guides to residents who do not have a boat or who shouldn’t be driving one.

“Prohibiting guides takes away their opportunity,” Jerry Strieby said.

The three proposals were opposed either unanimously or with one dissenter. That dissenter was Vice Chair Paul Shadura, who said that the proposal came from the Copper River, where there is an issue of disproportionate harvest between personal use and subsistence fishers. He said that the proposer is trying to deal with an issue in his area, but these proposals were set to affect statewide — his opposing vote was to recognize that need.

Other proposals to the Board of Fish were opposed either unanimously or with up to two dissenters.

The group rejected in-season reporting for fisheries. They were against a closure for commercial fishing anywhere that sport fishing is closed. They decided against supporting a removal of the ban on Seine drums. They rejected an allowance for an angler with multiple permits to fish in more than one area per year. They didn’t recommend the creation of policy related to groundfish fishery resources. Finally, they voted down a requirement for the surrender of proceeds to the state of accidentally harvested wild king salmon by openers harvesting hatchery salmon.

For the Board of Game, a proposal was opposed that would create a special moose hunt for seniors because the group said there isn’t enough opportunity to create hunts for each special interest.

Another proposal was opposed that would close Dall sheep hunting for five years in Unit 19C, which is located near McGrath. The group said there was no identified biological concern, with sheep harvest numbers that far exceed those of a similar hunt on the Kenai Peninsula. They opposed it unanimously, saying that systems are in place to close harvest if necessary.

Official recommendations by advisory councils including the Kenai/Soldotna council will be taken into account when the proposals are officially reviewed by the Board of Fish and the Board of Game.

Proposals discussed by the local council will be discussed at the Board of Fish meeting in Anchorage from March 10 to 14. Board of Game proposals will be discussed at the Southcentral Region meeting of the Board of Game in Soldotna from March 17-22.

For more information about the advisory councils, the Boards of Fish and Game, and full lists of proposals, visit adfg.alaska.gov.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Girl Scout Troop 210, which includes Caitlyn Eskelin, Emma Hindman, Kadie Newkirk and Lyberty Stockman, present their “Bucket Trees” to a panel of judges in the 34th Annual Caring for the Kenai Competition at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, April 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Bucket trees take top award at 34th Caring for the Kenai

A solution to help campers safely and successfully extinguish their fires won… Continue reading

Children work together to land a rainbow trout at the Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Sport show returns next weekend

The 37th Annual Kenai Peninsula Sport, Rec & Trade Show will be… Continue reading

Alaska Press Club awards won by Ashlyn O’Hara, Jeff Helminiak and Jake Dye are splayed on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion’s newsroom in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 22, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Clarion writers win 9 awards at Alaska Press Club conference

The Clarion swept the club’s best arts and culture criticism category for the 2nd year in a row

Exit Glacier, as seen in August 2015 from the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park just outside of Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
6 rescued after being stranded in Harding Ice Field

A group of six adult skiers were rescued after spending a full… Continue reading

City of Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel and City Manager Terry Eubank present “State of the City” at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Mayor, city manager share vision at Kenai’s ‘State of the City’

At the Sixth Annual State of the City, delivered by City of… Continue reading

LaDawn Druce asks Sen. Jesse Bjorkman a question during a town hall event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
District unions call for ‘walk-in’ school funding protest

The unions have issued invitations to city councils, the borough assembly, the Board of Education and others

tease
House District 6 race gets 3rd candidate

Alana Greear filed a letter of intent to run on April 5

Kenai City Hall is seen on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai water treatment plant project moves forward

The city will contract with Anchorage-based HDL Engineering Consultants for design and engineering of a new water treatment plant pumphouse

Students of Soldotna High School stage a walkout in protest of the veto of Senate Bill 140 in front of their school in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi students walk out for school funding

The protest was in response to the veto of an education bill that would have increased school funding

Most Read