Retrofit of cannery exemplifies problems with Board of Fish

Posted: Wednesday, October 29, 2003

To many fishermen, the retrofit of the Columbia Ward Cannery represents a failed business whose demise was hastened by a biased, if not corrupt, Board of Fish. To paraphrase Bill Brindle, the owner, "We can no longer afford to do business in such a hostile regulatory environment."

While I wish no ill will toward Mr. Faulkner, Board of Fish regs continue to restrict harvest and overescape rivers and streams in Cook Inlet wasting over 800,000 sockeyes alone this year, a benefit to no one.

In the last decade, some 600 jobs have been lost on the Kenai Peninsula. The state, borough, cities and fishermen have lost millions of dollars to management plans designed by the Board of Fish plans designed to implode. Current plans make it impossible to manage the fishery for sockeyes.

One government agency is laboring to create and promote quality salmon, while the Board of Fish, another government entity, endeavors to kill a 100-year-old industry here.

There is a story all right. The story is about a fishery being managed like no other fishery in the state and appointees from the Knowles administration still calling the shots.

Who am I to judge? I will wait to see if Kenai Landing becomes the number one processor of dipnet fish. Sorry, no smiley face sticker from this fisherman.

John McCombs, Ninilchik

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