Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wake-Up Call

California's coastal salmon season has been cancelled. That's right, all coastal fishing for salmon—both commercial and recreational—is kaput. The Governator has declared a state of emergency and filed for federal disaster relief. Even though the ban is for only one year, this could be the death-knell for the state's storied commercial salmon fleet. Much of Oregon will be shut down, too. The San Francisco Chronicle has the story.

FOTL's condolences go out to his brothers and sisters of the angle to the south, and though his home state dodged the bullet, Washington won't be looking forward to a stellar season either, with chinook spotty and coho numbers way down.

These are not good times to be a salmon and steelhead fisherman. We can only hope that a move as drastic as this will provoke the necessary soul-searching to effect change. Salmon evolved to survive droughts, floods, volcanoes, predation, periodic downturns in marine productivity, and whatever else Mother Nature could throw at them. But they're no match for dams, hatcheries, pollution, rapacious logging, profligate irrigation, flood-plain subdivisions, and desert golf courses. Do you want wild salmon? The choice is ours.


Anonymous said...

A few months ago I read about the discovery of marine skeletons way beyond the normal amount just off the Pacific Northwest coast, and it gave me the creeps. Cancelling of salmon fishing in CA seems like more of the same, an ominous sign. Are these wake-up calls enough to get us going or do we need more?
OK, I'll give shad a try, unfamiliar to me, but looks and sounds delicious. Thanks.

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Sigh. No salmon for me. Stripers, shad and rock cod it will be. Wah.

Langdon Cook said...

Sally - thanks for the comment. I'm posting the link you back-channelled. I remember this story (another Robert McClure piece); scary stuff.

HAGC - I feel for you...but more than that, I hope Californians are pissed. Something has to change or salmon fishing is done for all of us up and down the coast. You guys to the south have the first shot at real constructive change. It needs to happen NOW. Next we need to get the Feds to rip out those 4 pork-barrel dams on the Snake...