Summary of our conversation with Ricky Gease

  1. The Kenai River is the most popular river for sportfishing in Alaska and part of a larger sportfishing complex of the Kenai Peninsula (includes Kasilof, saltwater fishing, Anchor River, etc…)
  2. 10-20% of all angler days in the Kenai itself
  3. May different groups involved in management, conservation of the Kenai River.
  4. Conservation-based management is a benefit to the fish and all users
  5. Alaska leading the way for empowering the public in fisheries regulations, through Board of Fish and other frameworks initiated during statehood and supported by policy such as Magnusson-Stevens act
  6. 10% excise tax on sportfishing gear that supports management agencies such as Sport Fish Division of ADFG
  7. Fish, and salmon in particular, iconic and woven into Fabric of Society
  8. 50% of households in AK have a sportfish license…very high participation
  9. All told, total economics of Alaska fisheries worth 5-6 billion
  10. Highest rates of military retirees and access to hunting and fishing a draw for this component of society
  11. Approximately 45lb of seafood per person consumed by residents on the Kenai peninsula, compared to 15lb average
  12. Low income households that have access to sport caught fish ┬áhave higher food security…suggesting sportfishing and personal use fish very important
  13. Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) is a non profit and is among larger conservation organizations in state
  14. Half the Kenai closed to bank fishing to protect fish habitat
  15. KRSA very active in BoF meetings
  16. Youth taught to fish will often remain anglers rest of life, which can add stewards and conservationists into the future
  17. Kenai Refuge most visited refuges in Alaska. Highest economic return to Refuge due to anglers
  18. Some of the most complex fisheries management in the world!
  19. Research an important way to monitor and evaluate strategies for restoration (e.g. the efficacy of cabling spruce trees to stabilize stream banks or culvert passage)
  20. Socio-economic studies of value of sportfishing done in 2007 and revealed large economic benefits
  21. 35,000 personal use permits for Kenai Peninsula; 350k-500k sockeye harvested by dipnetters
  22. Lots of fish friendly regulations, based on boat size and motor size limits, boardwalks and walkways, 50 foot setback (no permanent structures within 50 feet of streambank)
  23. Fish data drives policy and management decisions
  24. All users and managers are aligned on idea of ‘fish first’ policies
  25. Good governance key to healthy fisheries

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