This morning I stood on the banks of the Knik River at the Eklutna tailrace chatting with one of the longtime residents of this great state. This gentleman has been fishing the tailrace for a number of years and spent some time telling me about days gone by when a person could limit out easily at the tailrace. We stood there chatting and lamenting about days gone by.
As I stood there fishing I thought about what the commercial fishing industry is doing to the salmon population and to sportfishing in Alaska. The conclusion I have come to is that the commercial fishing industry is essentially castrating sportfishing in Alaska.
Bear with me here. We're all familiar with the birds and the bees. If we took every male worldwide from today forward and castrated them at birth, then right around 100 years from now there wouldn't be a soul left on this planet. The same thing is happening to our salmon. The commercial fleets are dropping their nets at the mouth of the rivers and have been doing so for a number of years now. As such, the necessary act of salmon getting upriver to spawn and thus produce a next generation has essentially been stopped. Sure, a few manage to get past the nets, but not the numbers that used to and now look at what we're left with.
Maybe I'm out in left field on this one but I don't think so. Do we as sportfishermen have a voice or any power at all to limit the commercial fishing and the castration of our salmon sportfishing?