The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is reminding people about the dangers of and penalties for illegally dumping fish waste, plus offering recommendations on how to dispose of it correctly.

It’s dangerous to dump leftover fish parts because they attract bears. ADF&G biologist Dave Battle says many people may not realize that.

“Fish attract bears, and brown bears, particularly, may aggressively defend those food sources,” Battle said in a statement from the department Thursday.  

Fines for illegally dumping fish waste on public or private property or along roads, pull-offs and trails range from $300 to $1,000, the statement reads.

To avoid those fines, the department encourages anglers who clean their fish on site to chop the carcasses into pieces and throw them into fast-moving water.

People who process their fish away from where they’re harvested should consider freezing the waste and then putting it out for regular garbage pickup on the scheduled pickup day or taking the leftover pieces directly to a waste transfer site or the landfill.

Here are some places throughout Southcentral where you can legally dispose of fish waste:

  • Central Peninsula Landfill: About 2 ½ miles from Soldotna on the Sterling Highway, the landfill accepts fish waste for free seven days a week in the summer, from 8 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
  • Peninsula transfer facilities: Sites in Cooper Landing, Kasilof and Ninilchik take fish waste in smaller quantities. It needs to be double-bagged in plastic trash bags and there’s a limit of two bags per day.
  • Matanuska Susitna Borough Solid Waste Central Landfill: Loads must be double-bagged and weigh less than 150 pounds.

The Anchorage Regional Landfill, the Central Transfer Station and the Girdwood Transfer Station all take personal fish waste too.

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