Maggie Harings Environmental Scientist & Water Quality Program Manager with the Kenai Watershed Forum: “We’ll be implementing very similar sampling procedures for the summer. One thing that we are going to be doing in addition to our normal walk out and grab samples, is we will be adding some MST tracking. What that means is we will be taking some water samples before the fishery and during the fishery so we can better pinpoint the source.” The Kenai Watershed Forum has monitored the water quality of the Kenai River watersheds twice a year (once in the spring and once in the summer) for the past 15 years. The State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued the grant for the $56,000 to the City for the bacteria level monitoring during the 2019-2020 Personal Use Fishery. Last July, the DEC collected water quality samples on Kenai Beaches, on July 3 and 13, that contained levels above Alaska’s enterococci and fecal coliform bacteria limit for recreation and harvesting for consumption of raw fish and shellfish. The ordinance provides for the appropriation of roughly $56,000 in funds to support testing for coliform and enterococci bacteria in the Kenai River during the Personal Use Fishery by the Kenai Watershed Forum. Nancy Sonafrank, Division of Water with DEC:“The high bacteria had been found during previous fisheries and we think it’s mostly related to nearby seagulls that are feeding off of the fish as well.” The ordinance states, bacteria levels during the Personal Use Fishery in the past have tested at elevated levels that could pose a health risk to the fishery participants and City residents utilizing the beach. It is in the best interest of the City to monitor the bacteria level on its beaches to protect its visitors and residents from potential dangers caused by the waste generated by the Personal Use Fishery. Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander: “They’re doing genetic marking study, again. Hopefully what that will indicate is that it is bacteria levels related to nature, primarily gulls. I think that’s important for the City of Kenai and alleviates some of the concerns from the public that it might be from a man-made source, but all indications is that it’s not.” FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai City Council approved funding at their meeting on Wednesday to pay for water quality testing in the Kenai River this summer.