Fishing for dollies, or dollars?

Posted: Monday, May 08, 2006

Kenai River Sportfishing Association’s voodoo economics (Clarion, 4/3/06) credits a higher fish-by-fish value to commercially caught sport-fish than to those fish commercially caught by gill-netters. KRSA’s voodoo, dollar-for-dollar, value comparisons were concocted for allocation purposes — to hopefully justify taking fish from commercial gill-netters and giving those fish to commercial sport-fisheries. Gease, executive director of KRSA, has come up with select data in order to catch-and-release the public in yet another fishery conflict similar to the current conflict over the numbers of caught-and-released spawning rainbow trout killed by anglers ostensibly fishing for dollies.

Since KRSA claims to be something of an economic fortune-teller regarding fishery resources, perhaps they can come up with another economic comparison between spawning Kenai River rainbow trout and Dolly Varden as they relate to commercial sport-fishing. What’s the commercial value of a spawning rainbow trout caught while one is — supposedly — fishing for dollies?

Due to a drastic increase in mortality of rainbows, caught under the guise of fishing for dollies, and removed from the water so the “sport” can get a picture, ADF and G, Sport Fish Division, recently issued an Emergency Order, which absolutely prohibits removing rainbows from the water before release from May 2 June 10, to protect spawning fish.

While it’s too early to predict whether the Emergency Order will have the desired effect of slowing down Ricky’s “tremendous economic engine,” let’s hope so.

Jeff Beaudoin


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