Over the coming weeks and months, many of you in communities around the state will encounter individuals collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that seeks to ban setnet fishing for salmon in “urban areas” of Alaska.
The measure directly targets setnet fishing in Cook Inlet.
The people collecting these signatures will ask you if you would like to sign a petition to “save king salmon.”
That is disingenuous and very dishonest. They are collecting signatures to eliminate a way of life and an economic life-blood of Cook Inlet. Please don’t be fooled.
Cook Inlet setnetters and Kenai River king salmon have thrived alongside each other for more than 100 years. It was not until the precipitous rise of guided sport fishing for kings on the Kenai River that those amazing fish saw their downfall. Those same sport guides are behind the initiative.
Signing that ballot initiative will do nothing to save kings. It will actually do more to sign their death warrant. Not only that, but the people collecting those signatures are using decidedly deceptive means. They are paid gatherers, possibly exceeding the $1 per signature allowed by state law by collecting expenses, and are obviously well coached about how to avoid the topic of putting Cook Inlet families out of business.
Don’t fall for it.