All of us who love the Kenai River do our best to not “love it to death.” By being good stewards of our rivers and riverbanks, we can help ensure that fish and wildlife habitat remains healthy.

Some bank erosion happens naturally as rivers meander over time, but erosion from human activities often happens at a pace that harms fish habitat.

On the Kenai River, one of the world’s most popular destinations for sport fisherman hoping to hook a salmon, some areas of shoreline are riddled with unofficial trails that cause banks to erode. Over time this leads to lost and degraded habitat, especially for juvenile salmon. It is all of our responsibility to do our best to keep this shoreline habitat intact.

In heavily trafficked shoreline areas, the best solution may be to install elevated light penetrating walkway (ELP). For less-trafficked areas, spruce tree cabling (sometimes called “revetment”) or other options may be the best solution. If you are interested in restoring or stabilizing shoreline on your own property, funding and technical assistance is available to assist you from the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game’s Cost Share Program; follow the link for more information.

Reference: Streambank Revegetation and Protection: A Guide for Alaska

In our own backyard …

Near Kenai Watershed Forum’s office in Soldotna, we have been working to address a shoreline erosion issue right out our back door. An eight-acre conservation easement property donated by one of Soldotna’s earliest homestead families, the Mullens, has been having issues with riparian vegetation trampling. To address this issue, Kenai Watershed Forum is using the dual-pronged approach of restoration and education. By installing shoreline spruce trees, replanting vegetation, installing new signs, and monitoring the area weekly in summer months, we aim to restore the natural qualities of this stretch of shorline.

We presented this project the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce in March 2024. Click the image below to download the presentation. And if you have an idea for another restoration project, please reach out to us.

See you out on the river!

Click the image below to download the presentation