- Subject: ALASKA-NEWS-RELEASE: Minimizing Human-Bear Conflicts in the Russian-Kenai River Area
- From: Mona Spargo <mspargo@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2011 12:27:53 -0800
- Approved-by: mspargo@xxxxxxxxx
Bobbie Jo Skibo, USDA Forest Service
Russian River Interagency Coordinator
Anglers and Visitors Asked to Participate
in Collaborative Process & Follow Regulations to Minimize Human-Bear
Conflicts in the
Russian-Kenai River Area
COOPER LANDING, Alaska- The sockeye
salmon are now headed to the Russian River, bears are out of their dens
and anglers are planning their fishing trips. On June 11, the Kenai-Russian
River area will kick off the sockeye salmon season. The area, known as
the Kenai Russian River Complex is valued by anglers, federally qualified
subsistence users, and other visitors for its easy access. High human
use between the months of May and September – coupled with abundant fishery
resources – has led to periodic conflicts between people and bears who
visit the area. In some cases, these conflicts resulted in personal injury
to visitors and the subsequent death of bears.
In April, a series of public forums
were held to gain insights from interested members of the public to assist
management agencies in developing an effective action plan to minimize
human-bear conflicts in the Kenai-Russian River area. The goal is to minimize
the potential for human injury and to avoid having to kill bears to protect
public safety. Past management actions have focused on how anglers handle
harvested fish and fish waste; proper storage of human food, beverages
and other bear attractants; and public education about ways to avoid attracting
bears to areas used by humans.
The public is invited to comment on
how past management actions have worked and to suggest new or improved
During the fishing season, the public
is encouraged to get involved:
* To learn more and to read the April
meeting summary, visit the project website at: https://projects.ecr.gov/kenai-russianriver/.
* Email the project’s facilitator,
Jan Caulfield at janc@xxxxxxx with comments or questions.
A second round of public meetings will
be held in Fall 2011 to provide more opportunity for public involvement
in development of an action plan to minimize human-bear conflicts in the
Kenai-Russian River area. But if visiting this season please do your part
by following the regulations and recommendations below while on the Kenai
and Russian rivers.
Food Storage Regulation
A food storage regulation is in effect
on both the USDA Forest Service lands and US Fish and Wildlife Service
lands and waters in the area which means that all attractants (for example:
food, beverages, and garbage) and equipment used to cook or store food
(for example: coolers and backpacks) must be acceptably stored (in a bear
resistant container, in your vehicle, or kept within 3 feet of you at all
times) while on the river.
Retained Fish in Possession Regulation
Fish must be kept within 12 feet of
you all at times to ensure that bears do not attain your fish.
Processing Harvested Fish
Anglers are asked to remove fish whole.
If they prefer to fillet, they are asked to use tables that are provided
at the confluence of the Kenai and Russian Rivers and at the ferry site.
If filleting, anglers are asked to Stop, Chop, and Throw (cut carcasses
up into numerous pieces before throwing into the fast moving current).
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