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by John Harrington


April 21, 2004

For this year the West Behm Canal Herring demolition derby has been called off. I am relieved that no sac roe herring fishery has taken place. As I listened to the reports on the herring samples taken. I was struck by how accurately Snapper Carson had predicted the herring situation. The reports described roe content that was widely varied, and samples of herring that were small and immature. Precisely what Snapper Carson had been describing for months.

I went back and reviewed the many letters to Sitnews regarding herring. Some of them made me distinctly uncomfortable. Some of the letters, notably, Mr. Hoff's, have been anti-Governor Murkowski, and anti-the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). For me this has been an unfortunate departure from the focus on herring.

Obviously I am critical of the sac roe fishery. But ADF&G has achieved much. The steady increase in the wild Unuk River King Salmon run is an ADF&G success story. And every year I look forward to my annual personal-use sockeye harvest in Yes Bay, thanks to ADF&G. As for Governor Murkowski, I voted for him. And will again if he runs. I believe he is tackling the problems facing Alaska. You may not agree with his solutions, but if the problems had been easy Knowles would have solved them. But because Tony Knowles did nothing in his eight years, Governor Murkowski is faced with even more difficult and painful choices. I thank God we have him.

As for the future, well the Herring Action Group isn't going away until the West Behm Canal sac roe herring fishery is stopped. So if you are planning to run for office next fall, you may want to prepare for some questions on herring. We will be making this a political issue.

John Harrington
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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