Usually, when I meet my clients at the boat launch, everyone is excited and ready for their chance at catching a king salmon on the Deshka River.
But, this year, the excitement — and the usual heavy fish boxes that result — have diminished greatly: There was no season for king retention at all on the Deshka River or any Susitna River tributary.
King salmon returns across much of Alaska are the worst in recent memory, and fishing closures have touched nearly every corner of the state.
Meanwhile, all week I’ve been hearing the relentless ads from “Stand for Alaska” (bought and paid for by Outside mining companies) that nothing is wrong and everything is in “balance;” that we can’t afford to take measures to help protect our salmon habitat.
What alternative reality are they living in? It seems the only balance they are truly concerned about is the one in their bank account.
This is the most tone-deaf ad campaign imaginable, as families who depend on salmon for jobs, livelihoods, food and cultural vitality are struggling mightily across the state. I guess it figures, given the ad was produced by the Washington, D.C., spin doctors who defended Big Tobacco for decades.
The truth is, Alaska’s salmon systems are way out of balance. We need to take strong measures to help them return to form. Voting yes on the Stand for Salmon Ballot Initiative — Ballot Measure 1, is one important step to take. This is why I am rallying my friends and family members, and urging all those across the state who care about our wild salmon to vote yes. It is imperative we improve protections for our wild salmon streams and rivers.
LINK (via: Alaska Daily News)