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Letters to the Editor

Posted: Monday, July 30, 2001

Too many lawless visitors ruin fishing for peninsula residents

Last Wednesday, I went sport fishing for red salmon at Soldotna Creek Park.

Years ago when I first came to Soldotna on a fishing vacation, the first rule I learned from Alaskans was respect the locals. Do not mess with them. Treat them kind and you will be treated likewise. That was 20 years ago.

Guess what? It's still the first rule for every visitor to remember. Visitors coming to Alaska expecting to have a good time need to embrace the local people with dignity and respect.

Just like the improvements that we see in the parks, it came at their expense, and frankly, as visitors, you are fishing in their fishing holes. Grant it, no one owns the property and the salmon are for everyone, but remember, you are not at home. You are guests, so behave like guests in someone else's home.

First thing you can do to respect the locals is to learn the fishing regulations and abide by them. Time and time again, I see groups of people come down to the parks and camp on the best fishing holes for the entire day, day after day. Many are good neighbors and follow the rules. But many are lawless and find no guilt in: 1) Intentionally snagging fish and keeping them; 2) Catching more than one's limit a day; 3) Hooking a fish and handing the rod off to every member of the party until all have reached a six-fish limit; 4) Having one person catching limits for themselves and every man, woman and child in their party.

Where is law enforcement? Good question. Their excuse is "Not enough people to cover everywhere at once." Understandable. Shameful. I have called many times over the years for someone to come and did again last week. I went back and waited an hour for the law enforcement to arrive for a man who was hooking and handing off his rod for over 6 hours to everyone around him. Did law enforcement show up? No.

Then, when I ask my neighbors why they don't like to fish locally, they say, "Too many rude, lawless visitors for me to have fun." When a visitor is snagging fish or keeping over their limit in your face, it is infuriating. Something must be done to stop these lawless visitors.

Not all visitors are lawless, but it seems there are more and more coming here every year. What a black eye to the local people. I suggest a town meeting with the state Department of Fish and Game, Alaska State Troopers and local interests to nip this one in the bud now, before another season passes.

Enough is enough.

Mark Conway

Kenai

Influx of Anchorage anglers means more litter on landscape

Many Anchorage anglers show up this time of year to fish on the Kenai Peninsula. The fallout from this uncontrolled activity includes a great deal of litter.

Those of you returning to the Kenai year after year are the stewards of this bountiful recreational area.

We must remember that our backyard (the Kenai Peninsula) is where Kenai residents live.

It is our privilege to reap the spoils, not spoil the Peninsula with litter.

C.J. Legare

Kenai

Production of stem cells amounts to murder of unborn children

I wish to applaud the Pope for his addressing President Bush concerning the pending decision to be made concerning the use of stem cells. I differ with the Pope on many religious facts, but I admire this action taken by him. What a shame it is that our own national clergy does not have the courage to address this proposed murderous situation.

I cannot understand why it is that our nation fears what appears to be political responsibility above moral responsibility. Production of stem cells amounts to murder of the unborn. My vote will go to the men who will fear God above their fear of men. My life would not be worth living if continued life had to depend upon the death of a baby before it was born.

Let me encourage the readers to check up on your representative in Congress and vote to preserve our unborn.

Don C. Bradford

Soldotna



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