Letters to the Editor

Posted: Friday, November 08, 2002

Guides have too much influence on Board of Fisheries decisions

Let me first say that I support the guiding industry in our area, as I recognize the good service they provide and the commerce they bring to our community. I do believe it is time to limit their numbers, however, so that fishing on the river in July can return to a somewhat quality experience for all concerned.

Having said that, I do have a problem with the guides' influence over the Board of Fish to perpetrate regulation changes that they see as positive for their industry but have a negative impact on local fishermen.

A case in point is the bait restriction, targeting the rainbow fishery, above the upper Killey River that went into effect Aug. 1. Fish and Game told me that this regulation change came about because of the recommendation from a single guide from Cooper Landing who wanted further restrictions but settled for this compromise.

Fish and Game testified to the board that there was no need for any regulation change because the rainbow population was very healthy and on the rise. I believe the guide in this case was compelled by greed to expand the rainbow population for his own well-being. Why do I say that? Check this out. Remember when all of us sacrificed in June to help the low return of spawning kings get upriver. Well, why do you think this change didn't go into affect until Aug. 1?

I say it was so the guides in that area could use bait to enhance their opportunity to catch the kings off their spawning beds. Another fallout from this poorly thought out change was the crowding that occurred after Aug. 1 in the first couple of miles below the upper Killey. Because other forms of "unbaited" lures (beads, glo-bugs, etc.) are not productive until latter August, guides and locals were fixed on the most productive holes just below the closed area.

I know I didn't like the crowding, and I'm sure the guides and their clients lost some of the experience this beautiful part of the river has to offer.

I am going to start my own campaign with the local advisory committee and the Board of Fish to try to get this change reversed, and I recommend others do the same. I have also learned that this same guide is a front-runner for a seat on the Board of Fish. Well, I don't know about you, but after this shenanigan I think he should be eighty-sixed.

Dwight Kramer, Kenai

Alaska stands to lose Medicaid funds for not complying with act

It is quite admirable that Alaska is keeping up with modern times by licensing tattoo artists and hairstylists. Every one of us wants to reduce the chance of a bad haircut. With licensed tattoo artists, we also are increasing the odds that a true artist is creating a work of art that will be enjoyed for many years to come.

Health and safety issues are probably the greater concern with licensing of the above-mentioned hairstylists and tattoo artists. Not one of us wants to catch a disease from an improperly trained or unlicensed artist. An incurable variety of any disease is even more undesirable!

There are more than 35 states that are concerned enough about their health consumers that they have adopted recommendations for state licensure of radiologic personnel. Alaska is not one of the 35. The Consumer-Patient Radiation Health and Safety Act, passed by Congress in 1981, has provided states with guidelines for education and licensure for quality radiology personnel.

A bill proposing an addendum to the 1981 bill, the Care Act, has been introduced in Congress. If passed, this bill will make state compliance mandatory. If the state does not comply, it will lose Medicaid funding.

Where is Alaska's concern for its health consumers?

As an Alaska citizen, are you concerned?

Donna Rufsholm , Licensure Committee chair, Alaska Society of Radiologic Technologists

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