At least once a year I have to agree with Les Palmer, if only to keep the flow of information going and buttress some degree of personal credibility.
When I close my eyes and recall "Fishboard Follies 2003," the following images drift by: a board that ignored public testimony, a sportfish department that round-filed the hired consultant's report (a waste of $40,000), a guide organization that pandered to opportunity, not science; Brett Huber dressed in black, wearing more gold chain than Mr. T.; a board of fish meeting set in Kenai, and Chairman Dersham drove to Anchorage; Bob Penny surrounded by guides; Porter Pollard (a.k.a. Joe Fisherman) having lunch with Bob Penny; a redundant and expensive committee process; and Chairman Dersham in his chair at the back programming his cell phone and eating red licorice, just to name a few.
How many kings 55 inches were logged in at Fish and Game? Someone told me seven. Please correct if this is wrong, if Kenai kings are not getting smaller.
Now humility has set in. I agree with Les in his opposition to the non-consumptive hook-and-release fisheries.
For those keeping track, a constant theme of mine is the hook-and-release non-consumptive fishery on Kenai kings is tantamount to non-resident allocation; it's unconstitutional if not un-Alaskan. Like Les, I agree fish were meant to eat; especially if there are not that many of them. I even risk agreeing with ex-governor Knowles, who said, "The most important fish is one on an Alaskan's dinner table."
If there was ever a crystalline consensus on one issue, it was public opposition to hook-and-release on early Kenai kings. Just dig that consultant's report out of Kelly Hepler's trash can.
Happy New Year!
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