Historic Kenai Classic will have to wait until 2021 - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, January 23, 2021
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Historic Kenai Classic will have to wait until 2021


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.

Donations Welcome


Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Bizarre that fishing is considered an at risk activity.

    • The people in power, who like the feeling a lot, have to make sure everyone’s kept in a state of fear. None of this is based in reality anymore.

    • Fish don’t catch themselves. Anything that has people is at risk.

  • I wonder if the ‘board’ will say king salmon have to wear masks now and stay six feet apart, too. Makes about as much sense. I don’t believe the risk equals the restrictions, cancellations, crashed economy or letting leftists play dictator. Outdoors, fresh air and sunshine are some of the best therapies for most anything, including wuhan v. Is it going to come to secret meetings and groups, to avoid the ‘woke stigma’ of wanting freedom? Myself, I think President Trump is right. “It is up to every American to make themselves as safe as they need to be”, not a bunch of lefty ‘committees’. The only lockdowns and restrictions that are needed should be for the rioters, ‘mostly peaceful’ protesters and the rest trying to destroy history and America itself (democrats?) .

  • Now you’re being silly. Righties down here are keeping us safe. Snowflakes trying to kill us.

  • So the Kenai Classic that’s raised millions is canceled but they’re packing the beaches for dipnetting 🤷‍♀️

  • You know, I get it. You whole snowflake world has been tuned upside down. Some folks just can’t cope. I wish I could bring each of you down here for a week so that you could see into your future….see what’s headed your way.

    • Greg,
      How is that four thousand some odd mile away opinion relevant? I know, where you are, draconian measures are in place, complete with police enforcement, forcing citizens to forfeit their liberty and play ‘lock step’ with the ‘authorities’. Those ‘authorities’ are determined to bend every Floridian to their will. Legitimate reasons or not. Those ‘authorities’ wouldn’t be leftists, would they? I guess, if you live in their sandbox, you must play their game.
      The biggest and most dangerous ‘disease’ infecting America is globalist leftism. Paid for by bad actors with too much want for domination and too much money to arrest, evidently. Accommodated by leftist bad actors in our nation’s ruling “elite”, paid for, of course, by the likes of Soros, ‘American’ corporations by the dozens and ‘big’ pharma in full overdrive, taxpaying Americans being hit the worst. Like Trump said: “The left isn’t here for me. They are here for you and I’m just in the way”.
      May not seem like it but November is just around the corner. Expect insanity to increase exponentially, the nearer we get. Now the left is adamantly opposed to schools opening because President Trump wants them to. To hell with the kids for the left. Anything goes to damage our President.

  • How times have changed. I remember when KRSA happily killed king salmon as king runs steadily declined.

    I also remember how Ricky Gease lied to the board of fish how their lives were in danger if they held board meetings on the KP. Good times! The board has not held a (Kenai fish) meeting here since.
    Mission accomplished!

    Commercial fishermen had to either travel to anchorage daily, or foot the room and board bill to fight for their livelihood.

  • Kenaimike is right.
    . The elitist guided sportfish lobby, lead by Mr. Geasee and Kenai River Sportfishing Aassociation, has led the charge in plundering the Kenai River King salmon run all for the guides economic benefit. The guided sportfish industry has decimated that same run all while shifting the blame to the Cook Inlet commercial fishing fleet. The commerical fishing fleet harvested and sustained the Kenai run for over 70 years (1920 to 1990) prior to the invasion of the guided sports industry. The guides only required about 20 years (1990 to 2010) to ruin the run by overharvesting trophy broodstock and fishing IN THE SPAWNING BEDS.

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