Letters to the Editor

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2002

Common sense should dictate best course of action for Kenai kings

I am bemused by the rhetoric we receive each year concerning the Kenai River and king salmon. To catch or not to catch, to bait or not to bait, to catch and keep or to catch and release.

Seventy years ago, my former neighbors, without a college education, kept their strongest and best bulls, boars and rams for breeding purposes, survival of the fittest. In Alaska we catch and kill the best, largest and strongest breeding salmon stock to display on a wall, for bragging rights and to appease the tourists and guides. The majority of the guides take their summer income to Oregon or Washington, returning very little to the state of Alaska.

We wonder why the kings have decreased in size over the years. This is not just a biological question, it's a question of common sense. It is unlikely that a fish which is hooked, fought, fondled and released three or four times will reach the spawning area and still be a healthy producer of future offspring.

Walter E. Ward


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