Abuse of proxy fishing pales alongside of catch-and-release

Posted: Monday, November 03, 2003

Les Palmer does well to make us aware (Clarion, Oct. 31) of possible abuse of proxy fishing, but any abuse of daily limits by a few score of proxy anglers is as nothing compared to the abuse of daily limits occasioned by tens of thousands of anglers practicing catch-and-release.

A recent national magazine article touting fishing kings on the Nushagak River brags of one angler catching 260 kings in a week. The daily limit of kings on the Nushagak is two with a seasonal limit of four. An Alaska Department of Fish and Game study pegs the mortality of caught and released Kenai kings at nearly 8 percent. At that figure, the angler killed about 20 kings. The same article related that it's common for boats from the lodge to land 40-50 kings before lunch. And all this is about just one lodge on just one Alaska river.

Multiply this kind of abuse by tens of thousands of anglers, and any question about proxy fishing for disabled Alaska residents is nothing in comparison. Indeed, the killing of fish by anglers practicing unrestricted catch-and-release becomes wholesale wanton waste.

John Nelson, Soldotna

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