With the second run coming in any hour now (fingers crossed), Stream Watch is in full force out on the river! Hundreds of anglers have received educational messages about Leaving No Trace, preventing erosion by walking in the water instead of on the riverbank, bear safety and awareness, correct fish waste disposal methods (stop, chop and throw) and countless other issues that arise while outside recreating. Volunteers have clocked in well over 1000 hours already, and it will only get busier!
I personally caught my first Sockeye a few days ago. While out on the river after work, I see the same anglers that I spoke to only a few hours before. Although I’m out of uniform, I fish with the mentality of leading by example. When you’re out on the river, are you also leading by example? When we consider the sheer number of visitors who pass through the Kenai Peninsula during the salmon run and emulate the behavior of locals, we realize just how far one bad learned behavior can travel. Here is my checklist when I go out to the river:
-All gear on person and not on riverbank
-Walk in water and not on plants
-Decide BEFORE fishing how many fish (within limits) to harvest
-Return fish nutrients to river but in fist-sized or smaller pieces as to not attract bears
-Know the rules and regulations, including any EO’s, of my fishing hole
Hope to see you out there, and fish on!