Fish Habitat Improvement
The AK Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have cooperatively developed a Cost-Share program to help riverside property owners protect riverbanks and fish habitat on Kenai Peninsula rivers. Applicants whose projects are accepted can receive reimbursement for up to 50% of the cost of their project.
An Elevated Light Penetrating ELP Platform provides fishing
access while protecting a riverbank.
Erosion, deposition and changes in course are natural events in a river's life cycle. However, human activities can alter the rate at which these events occur. Erosion in particular can cause problems when it occurs more rapidly than it would in an undisturbed system. Landowners can lose valuable property, fish lose critical habitat, and sediments deposited in river bottoms can prevent fish eggs from hatching.
To help protect private property and fish habitat, the Cost-Share program works with applicants to develop bank protection and restoration projects. Persons interested in applying for the program submit an application packet that includes drawings and written descriptions of the proposed project, cost estimates, and photographs of the riverbank.
Projects are selected based on their value in sustaining, restoring, or creating fish habitat. Projects must use methods that not only provide for bank stabilization and rehabilitation but also sustain or improve fish and wildlife habitat. Examples of successful projects include, but are not limited to:
Bank stabilization techniques including rootwads and cabled spruce trees
Protecting existing bank vegetation using elevated walkways and stairs
Removing structures such as jetties and bulkheads that are detrimental to salmon habitat
Applications are generally accepted between June and Sept. 30 of the year before construction is proposed to begin. All applications are reviewed, and agency personnel conduct field visits and consultations with applicants to discuss the project goals, scheduling, and possible project revisions to optimize restoration efforts.
Selection is generally made by the end of January and Cooperative Agreements between landowners and USFWS are drawn up. Permits are issued after the Cooperative Agreements have been signed.
No purchase of project materials or construction may occur under this funding until the Cooperative Agreement is signed by both parties and all applicable permits have been issued.
Projects not selected for the Cost Share Program can still go forward as long as they receive all applicable permits. Regardless of whether or not projects are included in the Cost Share Program, they may be eligible for the Kenai Peninsula Borough's Tax Credit Program or Tax Exemption Program.
For more information about these programs, contact the Kenai River Center at (907) 714-2461.