Each summer the Soldotna post of the state’s Wildlife Troopers calls in for reinforcements.
Between the sprawling dipnet fisheries at the mouths of the Kenai and Kasilof rivers, commercial set and driftnetting fleets and the sportfishing pressure on Kenai Peninsula rivers and lakes — enforcement of fisheries regulations can be a daunting task for the 11 wildlife troopers stationed between Anchor Point, Soldotna and Seward.
Lt. Paul McConnell, deputy commander for the B-detachment of the wildlife troopers, said the department usually brings in between two and four extra troopers, for a week to ten days, near the middle of July — the usual peak of the central Kenai Peninsula’s sockeye salmon runs.
Barring any changes in the surprise addition of $175,0000 into the state’s capital projects budget for the next fiscal year, the Troopers will likely spend the vast majority of the money on extra officers and lodging for those officers during the upcoming fishing season, McConnell said.
He said the detachment was considering bringing an extra sergeant and up to five extra troopers to fill in for the month of July.