My mom always said if "you argue with dogs, you will likely get dog bit." I always tried to take my dear mom's advice but after reading Les Palmer's article regarding "dipnet fishery success" I just have to respond.
The notion that dipnetting for sockeyes at the mouth of the Kenai and Kasilof river is some sort of sacred rite always confused me. What happened in 1996 that changed Alaskan families catching fish with a pole with a daily bag limit to suddenly needing 60-plus sockeyes caught with a handheld gillnet? If the salmon "belong to all" why put thousands of people on only our local rivers and not rivers in Anchorage and Mat-Su? The state created this fishery; where is the state, with money and management, in helping to address the overwhelming impacts of the dipnet fishery in our community? Where do the PU fish really go? Ask FedEx, Alaska Airlines cargo, etc.
Falling prey to the notion that because some money is generated and ignoring the overwhelming evidence of the garbage, fish waste, crowd and traffic control -- the list goes on -- by the PU fishery is a fool's argument. Salmon management returned healthy fish runs for all prior to 1996. We are approaching a one fish return to each fish that spawns. Shameful! Is that result really worth a few grand to the City of Kenai?
Finally, thanks to the City of Kenai administration and Council for waking up to the fact state fishery managers and BOF members have highjacked our quality of life every July so folks can trash our beaches to catch more fish than an honest family will ever really eat.
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