This state has a history of railing against the federal government. Well, this is a part rail and a part call for personal responsibility so we get our own house in order.
Irresponsible Fish Decision Endangers Wild Kenai Rainbow Trout, Dollies and King Salmon:
We Can Protect Subsistence Rights With A Smarter Plan
I believe in subsistence rights, but last week the Federal Subsistence Board issued a dangerous decision if you care about protecting some of Alaska’s greatest wild trout, and helping the dwindling stock of prized wild Kenai King Salmon.
By a 4-3 vote the Federal Subsistence Board allowed an almost indiscriminate method of harvesting subsistence sockeye salmon. They will allow nets to be stretched halfway across the Kenai River in places where they will “incidentally” kill non-targeted fish that thousands of Alaskans enjoy fishing for on the Kenai – our prized rainbow trout and dolly varden. One net site that’s been approved is on what fishermen call “Rainbow Alley” below Skilak Lake.
Let’s not turn subsistence, commercial, and sport fishermen against each other.
This board can reconsider its decision, and public input is important. They can relocate and reconfigure the subsistence net locations and sizes so that there can be a subsistence fishery for sockeye salmon that does not endanger some of the largest, most sought after rainbow trout and dollies in the state – fish that Alaskans can catch if they cannot afford an expensive trip to more remote parts of Alaska.
This decision, if not altered, will cause division in a state that is united by its interest in protecting and fishing for our world’s greatest trout and salmon runs. And the decision to allow the take of 1,000 Kenai Kings is irresponsible at a time when this population is facing a near decade-long crash. Let’s restore this once vibrant Kenai River King fishery, not endanger it more.
We hope you’ll share your thoughts. You can send them to the Office of Subsistence Management, ask for reconsideration of their decision (which we think we can win), and do it soon:
Office of Subsistence Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1011 E. Tudor Road, Mail Stop 121
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
© 2015, ↑ Alaska Native News
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