Mike Crawford, Chair of the Kenai/Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee, writes the language of an amendment to Board of Game Proposal 105, passed unanimously by the committee during a meeting on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Mike Crawford, Chair of the Kenai/Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee, writes the language of an amendment to Board of Game Proposal 105, passed unanimously by the committee during a meeting on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Board of Game to meet this weekend in Soldotna

The Southcentral Region Meeting is scheduled to run from Friday to Tuesday

The Board of Game will meet in Soldotna this weekend to deliberate on proposals regarding hunting regulations that affect the Southcentral region.

The Southcentral Region Meeting is scheduled to run from Friday to Tuesday, according to an agenda posted to the board’s website. It will be held at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex starting at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, and at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Public testimony on the proposals being considered will be accepted Friday and Saturday. The agenda says that public testimony will continue until all who sign up to speak by a 10 a.m. Saturday deadline are heard.

Around 150 proposals are up for consideration. Of those, five affect the entire region, while the others are grouped into different areas. For the Kenai Peninsula, which includes hunting Units 7 and 15, 67 proposals are up for consideration.

In recent months, local fish and game advisory committees have been meeting to discuss their official recommendations on the proposals, which will be presented to the board. Advisory committees on the Kenai Peninsula include Kenai/Soldotna, Homer, Central Peninsula, Seldovia, Seward and Cooper Landing. The official recommendations from each group are available on the Board of Game website.

Some proposals saw broad support from groups across the Kenai Peninsula.

A series of proposals that reduce some restrictions on moose hunting around Homer and Kalgin Island saw support from all six local committees. Included in that series of proposals is Proposal 130, which would renew and update the Unit 15C Intensive Management Plan — that proposal was supported by all but Seldovia, who did not comment on it.

Those proposals, including the update and renewal of the Intensive Management Plan, are officially supported by the Department of Fish and Game.

Proposal 117 would implement around the entire Kenai Peninsula an already existing penalty of a five-year ban for any goat hunter who harvests a nanny. The policy is already in effect in most parts of the peninsula, but is missing in 15C. The proposal saw support from Kenai/Soldotna, Homer, Central Peninsula, Seldovia and the department.

An extension to the season for brown bear registration hunts is supported by Kenai/Soldotna, Homer, Central Peninsula, Seward and Cooper Landing. Kenai/Soldotna, Homer and Central Peninsula also favor an extension to the wolverine season.

The Kenai/Soldotna and Seldovia committees both support a proposal that would limit hunters to one permit per species at a time — an amended version of a proposal that limited hunters to one permit at a time. The “one permit per species” language is also officially supported by the Department of Fish and Game.

The Central Peninsula group supports a rescinding of restricted bag limits for some species of ducks in 15C.

That group also supports extending the ptarmigan season, a proposal opposed by Homer, Kenai/Soldotna and Seldovia.

The Homer committee supports ATV use by disabled users to hunt on parts of the Southern Kenai Peninsula. Amended versions of the same proposals were supported by Seward and Cooper Landing — they increased the number of users that would qualify.

Homer’s committee is for closing beaver trapping in Unit 15C — with an amendment saying the proposal would only be in effect for six years and require a sunset review.

The committee in Seward voted to support a full closure of sheep hunting on the Kenai Peninsula, amending the proposal to include a 5-year sunset for the measure.

Cooper Landing’s committee supports shortening beaver and coyote trapping seasons.

Homer and Seldovia together support several proposals that were less popular with other groups.

The two support a series of proposals that would establish new limits on a variety of ducks. The proposals target four species of ducks; Homer and Seldovia supported restrictions on three of them — leaving harlequin duck restrictions as is.

Those duck restrictions were opposed by Kenai/Soldotna, Central Peninsula and Seward.

Homer and Seldovia support making all sheep hunts registration hunts and support a trapping setback in some trailers within the Kachemak Bay State Park

Setbacks are opposed by Kenai/Soldotna, Seward and Cooper Landing, despite significant campaigning for Cooper Landing setbacks by the Cooper Landing Safe Trails Committee, who proposed several setbacks and are listed as guests in the meeting minutes for the Cooper Landing advisory committee.

Homer and Seldovia’s committees also place their support in a new required harvest report for sea ducks — that proposal was opposed by the Department of Fish and Game because sea duck reporting is handled by the federal government and would be expensive to implement.

Opposed by Kenai/Soldotna, Seldovia, Seward, Homer and the Department of Fish and Game is a proposal that would return fork antlered moose to legal hunting status.

Similar wide opposition was seen for a series of proposals that sought to establish archery-only hunts for both sheep and moose. They were opposed by Central Peninsula, Cooper Landing, Homer, Kenai/Soldotna and Seward.

For more information about the Board of Game, this weekend’s meeting, and the proposals to be considered, visit boardofgame.adfg.alaska.gov.

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

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