Calculating the truth about the Kenai River?

Posted: Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I read the letter to the editor on April 23 where the writer attempted to calculate the total drops of oil which may fall into the Kenai River from outboard engines. After calculating these drops of oil, Mr. Morrison then went on to blame the drops on only the guided sportfish anglers which have come to fish the river since 1980. This “guided vs. nonguided blame game” has been going on for many years and usually originates from the commercial fishing industry because they see guided anglers as some kind of sideways threat to their livelihood.

As I read Mr. Morrison’s letter, I was carried back to one of my Cook Inlet crossings where we were skimming along watching the salmon, whales and birds on the surface. Then we came across a huge oil slick which was about half a mile wide, so we tipped the wings north a little and followed it for a couple of miles where it finally ended. I instantly began wondering why I had not seen a letter to the editor from Mr. Morrison for that oil slick?

I have regularly watched, with amazement, many such oil slicks emerge and drift up and down Cook Inlet, as our petroleum developers regularly leak “barrels of oil” into the environment.

I have made many calls to many persons and agencies and the total response has basically nothing. My personal estimate would be that just one of these oil slick would account for about 20 years worth of Kenai River outboard engine oil drippings.

So what would motivate any individual to count “drops of oil” into a river while ignoring “barrels of oil” leaked into Cook Inlet? Mr. Morrison’s “penny wise but dollar foolish” personal prospective demonstrates the great lengths some demented letter writers will descend to in order to try to brainwash the general public into assuming their warped personal prospective about fishing in Alaska. Instead of just writing that they can’t stand seeing some other group catch “their fish,” they write that the group is somehow out there wreaking planetary havoc with car or boat.

Mr. Morrison’s letter had little to do with “the truth” and a lot to do with “fisheries brainwashing.”

Don Johnson


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