By Olney Webb
August 15, 2007
I have been a Pennock Island resident since 1979 so I have crossed that bridge 13,505 times on foot. Several years ago they widened the sidewalk so people could watch the fish, now that space is taken up with bikes, tackle boxes, dead fish, food wrappers, snarls of fishing line. If you don't think 15 pound test is enough to trip you, try it.
I don't know how many heated discussions I have had because I objected to having a fish hook waved in my face. One slob told me that this was the fishing side and I was to cross the street to cross the bridge. Well I don't want to cross the street twice, I am afraid of getting trampled by the horses.
The other thing that happens is they try to reel the fish in off the bridge and the hook pulls out and it goes over the bridge at warp speed. I have seen the hooks go clear over the bridge girders, you don't want your face to get in the way of that operation.
About ten years ago there was a talk with the Ketchikan city council about putting in a fishing float, because they climb on boats that are moored there, plus the mess on the bridge. We found out sports fish has funds for projects like this, but the harbor master at that time Doug Ensley said 'oh no, if you put a float in there I am going to tie boats to it'. Your local government working together to get nothing done. Then council member Tom Coyne objected to closing the bridge to fishing, like running Huck Finn out of the old fishin hole, this isn't the old fishin hole, it's combat fishing on a public sidewalk. The city attorney at that time said that this was a liability -- wanna pay for some one's eye ball tax payers?
You should see the horrified look on peoples' faces as someone stomps a flopping humpy to death, with blood and eggs squirting on the sidewalk. Wow Mable, they sure do things different on the last frontier.Here is a picture of the kids standing in a puddle of blood, we had to burn their shoes later.
But there is hope, I just saw the plans for the promenade from Salmon Landing to Thomas Basin. It is on the down stream side of the bridge. That is logical, but they won't be able to fish off the sidewalk. They are going to move to the promenade. Problem solved, at least for me.
Received August 14, 2007 - Published August 15, 2007
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