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Letters to the Editor

Letter: We’re not solving the real salmon problem

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
    | Opinion
  • Updated: July 10, 2018
  • Published July 10, 2018

I just love listening to anglers complain about our king salmon runs shrinking or disappearing. When they finally get done complaining I ask what their solutions are. I can handle just about any creative attempt except the one that includes catch-and-release king fishing while commercial gill-netters continue slaughtering kings.

What if Alaska Natives had released their whales while our whaling fleets were slaughtering them 100 years ago? Would "release hunting" been able to save our whales from extinction? Probably not; it would have been a nice delusional gesture that would have harmed the Natives while doing nothing to save the whales.

Anglers hooking and releasing king salmon in freshwater to help increase future kings in the saltwater would basically do the same. Catch-and-release king fishing does nothing to help the future king salmon resource because those extra kings are just killed off by excessive commercial gill-net fishing.

Self-deception can be a pretty funny thing. I use to hand out money to the homeless. It was a fast and easy way to ease my conscience because I was helping them. One day I saw my money get spent on alcohol and discovered how a superficial solution can deceive you into believing you are solving a problem when you're actually just creating another problem. I discovered that superficial solutions usually have unintended consequences.

Alaska currently has a huge statewide king salmon problem. Catch-and-release king solutions within a gill-net slaughter environment are like putting band aids on cancer. They only serve to delay real future king salmon solutions.
Delusional king salmon solutions are used by people who do not understand how complex our king salmon problems really are.
— Donald Johnson

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