First of all, kudos to the City of Kenai for FINALLY addressing this problem. As a life-long Kenai Beach dipnetter, I have hands-on experience as to what this zoo looks like. And every year, the crowd swells alongside the trash and waste.
This year, the City of Kenai has refined laws already in place regarding fish waste. There was a general law, but never specified WHERE people needed put their gut pile. This new enforcement (backed by newly hired seasonal officers, a $150 fine [reduced from $500], and a new sandrake) states that dipnetters MUST dispose of fish waste IN the water. What did all this cost? $172,350.
What a waste of money. This plan is about as watertight as a gillnet. Here are some problems I have with the new ordinance:
1. People are gonna get PISSED when you start throwing guts in their nets and faces.
2. The tides WILL carry the guts BACK to the top of the beach, so what’s the point?
3. Solution to #2: Kenai spent a crapload of money on a “sandrake” to groom the beach and “push the guts back into the water”. What happens if there is actual TRASH buried or hanging around? They are going to push it INTO the ocean?
4. [On the sandrake] :
“…[the sandrake] will make the beach more aesthetically pleasing, because no one “likes hanging around rotten fish.’ Second, the fish carcasses attract warm-blooded animals, like birds and dogs. Those animals are the source of a fecal bacteria found in the river.”
FIRST – I don’t know an Alaskan dipnetter that will avoid fishing because of the rotten fish around. Those who DO have a problem with it are probably tourists and shouldn’t be dipnetting anyhow!
SECOND – Birds have been pooing in our river for thousands of years, ain’t gonna stop now. As for the dogs, is there a special tide that pushes dog poo UP the river? No. Fecal bacteria in the river originates IN THE RIVER (aka people using the river as a potty while fishing the banks).
Rant over. And yes, I am very glad to hear Kenai is taking notice and wants to do something about the problem. I only wish that they were more organized about it and used logical reasoning instead of spending more money. Think smarter, not harder!