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Boating Safety Advisory Issued for the Kenai River


A boating safety advisory has been issued by The Alaska Division of Parks for the entire Lower Kenai River (below Skilak Lake from 12 noon on Monday, August 17 until 12 noon on Wednesday, August 19 due to flood stage waters affecting the lower river. Because of this high water, the docks at Bing's Landing Boat Launch are being closed until this event has subsided.

With the most recent release of water from the Skilak Glacier Ice Dam, the Kenai River below Skilak Lake is experiencing flood stage water levels in all low-lying areas, including the Kenai Keys and Big Eddy subdivisions.

All boaters are being asked to voluntarily restrict their use of the Kenai River for the next 48 hours to essential travel only. Wakes generated from power boats along all sections of the Kenai River below Skilak Lake can harm structures and streambanks already weakened by heavily saturated soils and high flowing waters.

In addition, the amount of floating hazards in the river has increased. Structures such as docks, fishing platforms and stairways have the potential to be swept downriver along with many trees, root wads and floating debris. Boaters are urged to use the utmost care in traveling up and down the river to avoid these hazards. Be particularly aware of debris when anchoring as large debris can easily overwhelm a boat that is secured in the river.

If a power boat must be used on the lower Kenai River the Alaska Division of Parks is asking that operators to lighten their boat as much as possible, avoid "plowing" when not on step and to stay center channel away from streambanks and structures. Consider delaying all boating until after the high water event has subsided below the active flooding event levels (12.7 feet in the Kenai Keys area, 11.5 feet in the Big Eddy area).

The Division of Parks encourages all boaters to wear a personal floatation device at all times when on the river and to be cautious, courteous and alert to make the most of a fun day of boating or fishing on the river.

August 17, 2009

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