An Inconvenient Possibility;

Ard

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The spread sheets I was able to find license sale totals on were archived and indeed the numbers seemed almost artificially low even to me.

Regarding the charter boats that work these rivers I know a little bit about the business. I find it interesting that I had to attend a total of 9 days classroom and take 2 written tests and one oral test in order to obtain the various guiding licenses I have. Then there's that red Cross Certification that I have to attend so that I'm ready to administer First Aid if or when needed to people while fishing........... So what's interesting to me?

I'm fully aware that any attempt to educate the public with regard to the identification of fish would be at best a hit or miss undertaking. However, given that the charter boat guides do or did have to meet certain training requirements in order to get those permits I would think that they would be a good starting point. One idea that has crossed my mind seems pretty simple. Stop killing the female / hen salmon. In the opening post I touched on the subject of salmon eggs being harvested from ripe hens then treated to be used as bait. I believe that stopping this practice could have a positive affect on all of the heavily used fisheries. How to do this is the problem? It can be difficult to identify a fresh sea run salmon but it is far from impossible. I believe that the taking of female salmon should be made unlawful and an effort should be undertaken by the department to test charter boat guides to ascertain their ability to recognize differences between sex of the fish their clients may catch. The Alaska department of fish and game has a very active news letter as well as an expansive website that could both be utilized for educating the residential fishermen and women with regard to the current threatened status of the fisheries in the Matanuska Susitna drainage. To make people aware that this situation we face is not a 'one off' sort of thing but the result of over harvest of the brood stock fish most notably the hens. [A single female salmon can lay 1,000 to 17,000 eggs, very few of those eggs actually survive from fertilization to maturity. An average of 3 fish returning for every parent fish that spawns would be considered good production.] Those numbers are supplied by the USF&W.

Would such an effort bear fruit? It could be said that unless this were given a try there will be no way of knowing. I am not anti harvest of salmon, I like eating salmon. The situation during the past ten years has changed to such a degree that I have taken only 2 male silver salmon each year because they are so scarce. I have not killed a king salmon for ten years. There are so many intrinsic pieces to this puzzle that I simply don't have the time to share all of what I have seen or all of my thoughts but this resurrection of this blog post will keep me writing and thinking.

What good will all this thought and opinion do? I will use excerpts from all of what I have written to compose a letter, a document if you please and then I can deliver it by hand to the director of fisheries for this entire area. We are acquainted although I seldom share my observations and I will tell you why. I believe he will read whatever I leave him with and then tell me that I should attend the next Board of Fisheries Public Conference and there present any motions to the Board. Can you see where this is going? Unless I were allied with some larger group of anti fishing activists I may very well be the only person in that hall who would speak such ideas and make such claims. This is a bureaucracy plain and simple. The meetings are basically attended by lobbyists of the charter fishing industry and this is an uphill fight, perhaps an unwinnable fight.

Forty years ago I was an activist, I was in for the good fight and now at age 66 nearing 67 I have a rear view mirror in which I can see that the changes I hoped to see within my lifetime remain unsettled, still caught up in dogma between parties, those for and those against. I'm not so sure I want to pick up my banner and enter into another seemingly hopeless endeavor. Perhaps this will end like some other ailments in that things will have to hit the bottom. Hit the absolute bottom so that all parties can clearly see that there is an end of the line. Currently we are still on the tracks but I do seriously believe that the end of this line may come within my lifetime.

Thanks for all your comments.
 

Hayden Creek

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I have been told that CO was up over 30k in license sales last year. I'm guessing sales were regional as opposed to traveling licenses.

As a side note, Taos was great. Hondo is prime.
 

Ard

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I would like to add that I regret that conditions prevailed which led to the thoughts and observations that then manifested into the original writing on this post. If I could wish things better none of this would have been said.

Please remember that I only address conditions in the area in which I live and that there are parts of Alaska that have not yet been so adversely affected.
 

fatbillybob

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Forty years ago I was an activist, I was in for the good fight and now at age 66 nearing 67 I have a rear view mirror in which I can see that the changes I hoped to see within my lifetime remain unsettled, still caught up in dogma between parties, those for and those against. I'm not so sure I want to pick up my banner and enter into another seemingly hopeless endeavor.
Progress is too slow for some too fast for others. 50 years ago huge stringers of fish were held up as a banner of conquest. We don't see that today. Progress. Our cars don't smell like a 65 mustang and diesels don't roll coal down the street. Progress. There is no end to new laws and countless people willing to educate you about their agenda. AKA progress...
 
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