Alaska dipnetting – Disorderly and unsafe

alaska-dipnetting-medredThe winter meeting of the Alaska Board of Fisheries is months away but already the weirdness has begun.  At a work session in Kenai-Soldotna this week, the board spent some time kicking around the idea of motor restrictions for the Kenai River to make the popular, personal-use dipnet fishery there safer. The suggestion was brought to the board by 72-year-old Soldotna resident George Parks and picked up by the board’s new vice-chair Sue Jeffery, who termed the Kenai a “disorderly, unsafe fishery.” A commercial fisherman from Kodiak, Jeffery appeared unaware everyone was discussing the wrong fishery. There are deadly dipnet fisheries in Alaska, but the Kenai boat fishery is not one of them. The short stretch of the Kenai open to dipnetting from boats during the short July dipnet seasons does get congested. Some boats have collided, and a few have even taken on water until they sank. But no one has ever died. Read the story here 14:38

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