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Young or old, few of us can get by these days without at least some occasional computer work. The Soldotna library recently received a grant that will help with basic digital literacy all the way up to coding.

 

 


Jenny Neyman/KDLL

July on the Kenai Peninsula means one thing to most people — fishing. Even if you don’t put a line in the water, it’s likely your friends, neighbors, co-workers or certainly the people in line ahead of you at the store do.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center has you covered this week.

“Fish week at the refuge is all about everything fish, so, not just fishing, but we started out on Tuesday talking about the anatomy of fish and what fish need to survive — so, habitat and what makes a healthy stream. Things like that,” said Leah Eskelin, park ranger with the visitors services department at the refuge.


  Today, we look at invasive species - those critters large and small that endanger the natural beauty, and in some cases, our way of life here on the Kenai Peninsula. Our guests are  John Morton, the supervisory biologist at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Jennifer Hester of the Kenai Watershed Forum’s Adopt a Stream program, and Rob Massengill, a fisheries biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. We begin the conversation discussing invasive northern pike, a sports fish introduced to the Kenai Peninsula, and whose eradication has taken decades.

 


Six candidates are lined up to challenge Congressman Don Young this fall. Two of them were in Kenai for a Chamber of Commerce-sponsored candidate forum Wednesday.

Jenny Neyman/KDLL

The Kasilof River has been open to dip-netting since June 25. Newly expanded facilities and parking area on the north shore of the river mouth means easier access for dip-netters. Easier access means more visitors. And more people can mean more trash left behind.

That’s where the Stream Watch program comes in.

“If you’d like you can grab a bag and help yourself to cleaning up the roads or a little bit of the beach and the parking lot,” said Terese Schomogyi, a summer intern with the Kenai Watershed Forum’s Stream Watch program, which organizes volunteers to do restoration, protection and education programs along sensitive sections of waterways on the Kenai Peninsula.


Photo by Jenny Neyman

The July rush is in full swing, with residents and visitors trying to cram in as much summer activity as possible. But one aspect of Kenai Peninsula life has been quieter than usual this year — wildfire season.


 

Whether at the assembly or at the ballot box, the debate about borough sales tax won’t be ending any time soon.

 

Thursday was a slightly better day for sockeye returns to the Kenai river. But some of those fish coming back have raised a little curiosity.

 

The city of Soldotna has looked at expanding its footprint at various times over the years. The most recent effort goes back almost two years and has potential economic implications for residents, businesses and the city.

 

 


ADOT

It will be a couple of seasons and result in enough delays and inconvenience that by the time the Kenai Spur Highway rehabilitation project from Soldotna to Kenai is done, it will be a welcome relief. That’s because the project will extend five-lane blacktop the entire distance between the Twin Cities.

 

How active a voice should Soldotna’s mayor have? That was a question for debate at Wednesday night’s city council meeting.

 

A new route for the Kenai Spur Highway has been decided, should it be needed. But many other questions remain about the AK LNG Project.

Annexation may have been one of the hot topics over the past couple years in Soldotna, but there's a lot more going on. This week, we talk with city manager Stephanie Queen about everything from partnering with the city of Kenai on infrastructure projects to how the city gears up for fishing season. And, of course, the next steps in the process toward potential annexation.


City of Kenai officials will be closing access to the Kenai River's Soth Beach tonight and are warning dipnetters not to camp there or on the North Beach.

The reason are extreme high tides overnight that could pose hazards to campers. 

The morning tide Thursday at 3:54 a.m. is forecast to be 23 feet, followed by Friday morning's 4:44 a.m. high tide of 24 feet, and Saturday morning’s high tide at 5:44 will be nearly 25 feet.

Late Tuesday night the National Weather Service in Anchorage issued a special weather statement for high water levels expected on the Kenai River below Skilak Lake.

Water levels on the Kenai River are reported at bank-full just below Skilak Lake and at Kenai Keys, and they are expected to continue rising over the next few days, potentially peaking less than a foot over minor flood stage.

No widespread flooding is expected at this time, but low lying areas may have standing water ponding on them.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will meet in special session in Homer Wednesday. The assembly will hold another public hearing on an ordinance to move the boundary between Central and South Peninsula Hospitals.

ADF&G

The annual personal use dipnet fishery at the mouth of the Kenai River begins Tuesday. But amid expectations of an underperforming salmon return, the City of Kenai, which is host to the fishery, is ready, according to City Manager Paul Ostrander.

 

A proposed ballot measure could change the role of Soldotna’s mayor. Council member Linda Murphy will introduce an ordinance this week to put a question before voters to change the city’s charter, and allow the mayor a vote on the council.

 

More than $800,000 in budget vetoes by Mayor Charlie Pierce stand after a special meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Friday night.

  Here on the Kenai Peninsula we take our sportsfishing seriously. People fly or drive thousands of miles for the opportunity to wet a line in our cold, fish-filled rivers, streams and inlet. Helping visitors do that is a full time job for thousands in a score of industries, and today on Econ 919, we talk with Jim Voss, the developer of a new smartphone app, Alaska Fishtopia, that is designed to take sportsfishing as seriously as the angler who uses it.

 

Late run king salmon fishing reopened on the lower Kenai River on July 1st, however no bait is allowed. King fishing above the ADF&G markers at Slikok Creek is still prohibited.

The Department sonar shows 598 kings have escaped this season. That compares to 820 at this time last year, 1,066 in 2016 and 498 in 2015.

Meanwhile, fishing for king salmon on the Kasilof River has been fair, according to Fish and Game's weekly fishing report.

Fred Flea learns not to be greedy in "Ed and Fred Flea," by Pamela Duncan Edwards, read by Sally Cassano.

Couple from APU win Mt. Marathon races

Jul 5, 2018

The 2016 Mount Marathon men's champion and current course record holder took first place in yesterday's grueling race up and down the mountain that looms over Seward.

David Norris, a professional cross country skier for Alaska Pacific University won the 91st running of the event with a time of 42 minutes and 13 seconds. It was almost a minute off his record pace, but it still gave him a 20-second win over professional runner Max King of Bend, Oregon, who is a past World Mountain Running Champion. Adam Jensen of Anchorage finished third.

Redoubt Reporter

Cook Inlet Region Incorporated is expanding its permitting program for public access to the Kenai River this year.

 

 


While many river systems statewide are struggling to achieve their respective salmon escapement goals, there’s one on the Kenai Peninsula that is set to exceed its goal, and as a result, managers have liberalized the catch and possession limit.

In an announcement Monday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game increased the sport-caught sockeye salmon limits for the Russian River and a section of the main stem of the Kenai River to six per day and 12 in possession.

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