SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


By Bill Vanderpol


January 31, 2008

Open letter to all concerned persons:

In the last ten years the fishing quotas for commercial and sport fishing has declined significantly. We are told that this is necessary because of the decline in the amount of fish in southeast Alaska. Anybody who has been fishing knows this is true and now we go further and fish longer for one third the fish.

Commercial fish hatcheries have, in the past, helped some, but today the real problem is known to many of us that have fished southeast Alaska more than 15 years. In the early 90's some of us complained to the Fish and Game that the herring stocks were getting too low to sustain the hatchery fish and the wild stocks. We were told by them that there was plenty of herring and that they would manage the herring populations to insure feed for all the fisheries. Well people this did not happen.

We have complained to the Fish and Game, the Board of Fisheries and even the governor, and the quotas you have today are a result of obscene management of the herring populations, and so now it is up to you people if you have any concern at all, please get off your butt and make your voice heard or you will be down to no fish.

The feed (herring) is going, going and will be gone unless the people of Alaska, and especially those that make a living from fishing, demand an end to herring fishing for a couple of years. The government pays farmers not to farm, why not pay herring fishermen not to fish so as to insure feed for all critters that swim in the ocean and the survival of the commercial fishermen in Alaska. When they wipe out the last remaining herring spawn in Sitka this year, it's all over folks. Don't let what happened in California, Oregon and Washington happen here.

Thanks for all you can do. If you won't do it for yourself do it for the next generation of Alaskans.

Concerned old-time fisherman,

Bill Vanderpol
Castleford, Idaho

About: "I am a long time sport fisherman in his late seventies who has spent his summers fishing off the coast of California, Oregon, Washington, and for the last two decades, Southeast Alaska. I have a boat that I keep in Bar Harbor, on which I spend my summers. I am sending this letter because I am appalled at what I personally have seen happening all the way up the West Coast of the United States, and now here in Southeast Alaska. I hope in my heart that somehow this trend will be stopped before it is too late, and that future generations will be able to enjoy some of the benefits I have enjoyed in my lifetime."

Received January 31, 2008 - Published January 31, 2008


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Ketchikan, Alaska