The Kenai River Sportfishing Association says the 28th annual Ted Stevens Kenai River Classic will have to wait until 2021.
The decision came after much deliberation and consideration by the board, which weighed the concerns over COVID-19 with the need to protect salmon on the legendary Kenai River. The premier fishing event has occurred for the past 27 years uninterrupted by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or forest fires. But the super virus is a menace of another magnitude.
The Kenai River Classic is a three-day, invitational fishing event held every year in August and it raises funds and educates policymakers and business leaders about the organization’s habitat-restoration and access projects, fisheries education, research and management. The event is always attended by Alaska’s congressional delegation and state lawmakers. It combines fishing for cohos on the Kenai, banquets and fund-raising auctions.
The Classic has raised more than $18 million over the years for fisheries conservation. Most of the revenues are invested in advocating for public access that protects fish habitat, fishery-conservation and sportfishing in what is for many Alaskans their summer playground — the Kenai Peninsula. The organization does not ask for or accept donations from public officials.