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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Protect our Fish
By Victoria McDonald


February 18, 2013
Monday PM

If you're a fisherman, sport, commercial or subsistence, it's important to maintain our nearby streams and rivers. Salmon depend on clean water and each stream is important to maintain genetic diversity. However, one nearby river is under a long range threat; the Unuk, essential for king salmon spawning habitat. Seabridge, a Canadian firm, is pushing ahead with plans for a mine to be located in British Columbia, with a rock storage facility that will drain into a tributary of the Unuk.

Unfortunately, we have no reliable information on the baseline acidity of the Unuk. Since the legislature is in session, we have an opportunity to ask for funding for the Alaska Dept of Fish and Game. The Unuk needs a risk assessment and water quality monitoring for at least 3 years so that we can determine if the river is being degraded by mining. Mines are planned for creeks flowing into the Stikine and Taku, so those rivers require similar funding.

The Magnuson- Stevens Act was instrumental in ridding our ocean of foreign fleets; we now are facing a threat of huge mines polluting our rivers. If we want to rely on continuing salmon runs, please contact Peggy Wilson and Bert Stedman to request funding for the Alaska Dept of Fish and Game.

Victoria McDonald
Ketchikan, AK

About: "I was a commercial fisherman for 22 years, presently am a sport fisherman and rely on salmon"

Received February , 2013 - Published February 18, 2013




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