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Herring Harvest: An Imminent Crisis
by Lawrence "Snapper" Carson


February 27, 2004

We are on the eve of destruction of the hering population in North Behm Canal. After years of slowly diminishing populations, this Fish and Game Board has decided to have a Sac Roe Fishery.

This comes after many long time, local residents have watched the herring population diminish, and have basically had their concerns and requests ignored.

What has happened to this large, year round population of resident herring? Remember when anyone with a net could go to any harbor in Ketchikan in the winter, and get bait or herring to eat? The herring are not there, yet we are told by the Department of Fish and Game that we can go to the last herring spawing grounds and take the remaining population.

This comes after years of protecting marine mammals and years of enhancing and raising artificial, and natural runs of salmon in Behm Canal. What was the state wide value of these spawn herring last year? Less than .11 per pound compared to $2.00 to $3.00 per pound for package bait herring when availabe. What can be done? Probably not a lot, but our governor should be informed by people who are incensed by this unwanted fishery. The stakes are high. Why depress or destroy one of the last viable herring populations in an area that effects so many? Have we ever had a herring enhancement program?

The time has arrived, and we should all be aware of the ongoing herring depletion program by our Department of Fish and Game.

Lawrence "Snapper" Carson
Ketchikan, AK - USA



Related Viewpoint:

An Urgent Letter to the Governor by Andy Rauwolf and John Harrington - Ketchikan, AK - USA




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