The Kenai/Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex to hold an election and discuss proposals for next year’s Board of Fisheries Cook Inlet meeting. Representatives of the Department of Fish and Game will also provide updated projections for this year’s fishing season.
The committee is composed of community members representing various fishing, hunting and trapping user groups who recommend changes to regulation, according to a release from the Department of Fish and Game. Their meetings are open to the public.
Kenai/Soldotna Committee Chair Mike Crawford said Friday that elections used to draw up to 100 people, though in recent years turnout has been lower. This year, with the Board of Fish Cook Inlet meeting looming and with the unprecedented preseason closures of the king salmon sport fishery and East Side Setnet Fishery, Crawford said he’s expecting more of a crowd.
Elections to the committee will be voted on by everyone in attendance, not just the existing committee. Crawford said the incumbents intend to run for reelection, but that nominations are made on the floor, so it’s not yet clear whether anyone will run against them.
Serving on the committee, Crawford said, means learning a lot about policies and politics in a short time.
“There’s a lot more to it than most people realize when they sign up,” he said.
After the elections, the committee will discuss the proposals they intend to submit to the Board of Fish for next year’s Cook Inlet meeting. Those proposals will seek to change fishing regulations in the area.
Crawford said that over the years the Kenai/Soldotna committee has had a “pretty good” success rate when it comes to seeing their proposals passed. He expects several topics to be raised at the meeting. For those who complain about the rules for fishing, hunting and trapping, he said this is their chance to get involved.
“We have a voice at the Board of Fish and the Board of Game,” he said.
In addition to those two big opportunities for public engagement, Crawford said that the Fish and Game presentation would likely alone be worth attending for. He said that information would be valuable for anglers as they make their summer plans.
The Kenai/Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee will meet at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
For more information about advisory committees, visit adfg.alaska.gov.
Reach reporter Jake Dye at email@example.com.