Fish waste accumulates along the tide line at the Kenai River’s north beach on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 in Kenai, Alaska. The City of Kenai rakes the waste out to ocean every night and local groups contribute to cleanup efforts, but the waste still builds up on the tideline when the water washes it back in. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)

Fish waste accumulates along the tide line at the Kenai River’s north beach on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 in Kenai, Alaska. The City of Kenai rakes the waste out to ocean every night and local groups contribute to cleanup efforts, but the waste still builds up on the tideline when the water washes it back in. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)

Properly get rid of your fish waste this weekend

The final weekend of the Kenai River personal-use dipnet fishery kicks off Friday.

With sockeye salmon passage increasing into the Kenai River — nearly 72,000 sockeye passed the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s inriver sonar on Wednesday — there may be more fish being caught and taken home. Some residents of the Kenai and Soldotna areas have noticed piles of fish waste dumped on the sides of roads in rural areas, which can attract bears or other wildlife.

The Kenai Police Department responded to a call Wednesday about a pile of illegally dumped fish carcasses in the Richfield Drive area of Kenai, off Dogwood Street. The police officers cleaned up the mess and disposed of it properly, said Kenai Police Chief Dave Ross.

They had another call the day before that of fish waste dumped improperly in a dumpster in town, but other than that, there haven’t been a large number of complaints about piles of fish waste, he said.

“I would definitely encourage people to dispose of it properly,” Ross said.

When people leave piles of fish waste lying in the open, it can be a bear attractant and a public safety hazard for nearby residents and visitors. It’s illegal under state law and violators can actually be fined between $300 and $1,000, according to a June 30 news release from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Soldotna area wildlife management biologist Jeff Selinger said Fish and Game hasn’t gotten calls about illegally dumped fish waste this year but reminded anglers that fish carcasses should be taken to appropriate containers. The Kenai Peninsula Borough takes fish waste at its transfer sites across the peninsula and at the Central Peninsula Landfill near Soldotna for free, Selinger said.

“The dump has a dumpster where they specifically take fish carcasses,” he said.

At the transfer sites, fish waste has to be in smaller quantities and double-bagged in plastic.

Ross said if dipnetters can’t get waste into the dumpsters to at least get it into the water. The city of Kenai rakes the beaches each night after the dipnet fishery closes at 11 p.m. to clean some of the waste. On the rivers, the proper method is to cut up the remaining carcass after filleting into palm-size chunks and throw them far out into the fast-moving water to prevent buildup of fish waste washed back up against the banks, possibly attracting bears to highly trafficked areas.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at elizabeth.earl@peninsulaclarion.com.

Fish waste accumulates along the tide line at the Kenai River’s north beach on July 27, 2016 in Kenai. The City of Kenai rakes the waste out to ocean every night and local groups contribute to cleanup efforts, but the waste still builds up on the tideline when the water washes it back in. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)

Fish waste accumulates along the tide line at the Kenai River’s north beach on July 27, 2016 in Kenai. The City of Kenai rakes the waste out to ocean every night and local groups contribute to cleanup efforts, but the waste still builds up on the tideline when the water washes it back in. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)

More in News

Bradley Walters leads the pack up Angle Hill on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at the Salmon Run Series at Tsalteshi Trails. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Summer races kick off at Tsalteshi

The annual Salmon Run Series 5K races start on July 6 and continue every Wednesday through Aug. 3

Central Emergency Services staff wait to receive doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly mulls bond for new CES fire station

Replacement of the current station is estimated to cost $16.5 million

Buldozers sit outside of the former Kenai Bowling Alley on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Old Kenai bowling alley comes down

The business closed in 2015

Landslide debris surrounds part of Lowell Point Road on Friday, June 3, 2022, in Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly looks to mitigate future Lowell Point Road dangers

Assembly members approved legislation supporting agencies working to address the “repetitive hazards”

The Alaska Department of Health And Social Services building in Juneau has no visible signs indicating the department is splitting into two agencies as of Friday. Top officials at the department said many of the changes, both physical and in services, are likely weeks and in some cases months away. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Little sign of big change for DHSS

No commissioner at new department, other Department of Health and Social Services changes may take months

Nate Rochon cleans fish after dipnetting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
King closures continue; Kasilof dipnet opens Saturday

The early-run Kenai River king sport fishery remains closed, and fishing for kings of any size is prohibited

An "Al Gross for Congress" sign sits near the driveway to Gross’ home in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, after he announced plans to withdraw from the U.S. House race. Gross has given little explanation in two statements for why he is ending his campaign, and a woman who answered the door at the Gross home asked a reporter to leave the property. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Alaska judge rules Sweeney won’t advance to special election

JUNEAU — A state court judge ruled Friday that Alaska elections officials… Continue reading

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion 
Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen listens to a presentation from Alaska Communications during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska.
ACS pilots fiber program in certain peninsula neighborhoods

The fiber to the home service will make available the fastest internet home speeds on the peninsula

Most Read