As a life-long outdoors man and fisherman in Washington State, I have seen the West Coast sport and commercial salmon industry disappear in my lifetime. As a child, I thrilled to the seasonal news of “Columbia River hogs” and “Skagit River kings.” Today, my grandchildren know nothing of the once great salmon runs of our coastal rivers.
The great salmon runs of uncountable Washington, Oregon and California coastal rivers and streams where “…you could walk across the river on the backs of king salmon” are just a memory today.
So, it is with great hope that I watch Alaska manage its precious remaining sport and commercial salmon resources. I say to Alaskans: Come to Washington and walk along the banks of our empty and sterile salmon streams and then manage your salmon for salmon — not commercial fishermen or sports fishermen.