- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

KENAI, Alaska (AP) - Members of a fisherman’s coalition are planning to follow up a protest outside a sport fishing activist’s home by gathering outside another Kenai River Classic event.

Boaters held signs outside the home of Bob Penney on Wednesday as guests attended a party. Attendees occasionally took photos of the protest, the Peninsula Clarion reported (https://bit.ly/1JlwOLB ).

“There are many other examples of unethical behavior from KRSA that lead us to believe that they are not good neighbors or the type of organization we desire in our community,” said coalition board member Dwight Kramer.

Kenai Area Fisherman’s Coalition organized the gathering. Group board member Dave Athons said the Alaska Legislature failed to confirm state fisheries board candidate Robert Ruffner.

The Kenai River Sportfishing Association opposed Ruffner’s confirmation.

“I think the catalyst is that all of the sudden, the public sees Ruffner’s failure to be confirmed,” Athons said. “They see a highly qualified candidate and they see these (Kenai River Sportfishing Association) letters against him.”

The sportfishing association’s website says the Kenai River Classic is a three-day fishing invitational that raises money for habitat restoration, among other efforts.

Association Executive Director Ricky Gease said in a statement responding to the protests that the Classic brings awareness to issues on the river.

“Our primary goal at KRSA is conservation of salmon habitat while promoting responsible sportfishing on the Kenai River,” his statement said.

Protesters are planning to gather outside a Thursday event at the Soldotna Sports Center.

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Information from: (Kenai, Alaska) Peninsula Clarion, https://www.peninsulaclarion.com


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