Kenai Peninsula, AK – Stream Watch is an award winning volunteer program that promotes river stewardship on world-class sockeye salmon and trout fisheries on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula –the Russian, Kasilof and Kenai rivers.
Stream Watch began as a Forest Service initiative in 1994 in response to enthusiastic river users who wanted to get out onto the ground to share information on the Russian and Kenai rivers due to decades of intensive use and the resulting impacts to the cultural and natural resources. In addition to completing projects like river clean-ups and installing protective fencing, Stream Watch volunteers share critical information on agency regulations, bear safety, ethical angling, and river stewardship.
Today, volunteers continue to make a huge impact! In 2011, the program expanded to include the Russian River/Upper Kenai River area, Bing’s Landing, Centennial Park, Moose Range Meadows, as well as the mouth of the Kasilof River. During the season, volunteers spent more than 1,000 hours removing over 600 pounds of litter and fishing line and making contact with close to 4,000 visitors.
“The passion and dedication of the volunteers is infectious and should be noted as a huge contribution to the health and integrity of our favorite fishing and recreation sites on the Peninsula,” said Bobbie Jo Skibo, program supervisor from the Chugach National Forest.
“Volunteering on the Russian River has been enjoyable, beneficial and enlightening for us. Working with the Forest Service and user groups has been one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve had in nearly 30 years of living in Alaska,” founding members Tom and Elaine Reale.
For more information, and to get involved as an individual, group, or business, visit www.kenaiwatershed.org or call 362-1527.
The Stream Watch program relies heavily on support from dedicated volunteers and partners including Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Geographic, Alaska Recreation Management, Alaska State Parks, City of Kenai, City of Soldotna, ConocoPhillips, Kenai River Sportfishing Association, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Kenai Watershed Forum, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.