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Where is the wisdom in this ruling?

By Louise Clark


March 07, 2021
Sunday PM

I cannot help but question the wisdom of sending many boats and people up the Unuk River to catch one bucket per family of ooligan, with the price of fuel I’m sure everyone can afford to do that much less if you even own a boat. Would it not make more sense to send one boat of qualified fishermen to get enough for many families? Especially the elderly who cannot do that anymore.

Ooligan has been our treasured food since time immemorial. I’m 80 plus years but well remember after a long cold winter the wonderful blessing of the ooligan in March! Just tell me, how am I supposed to get my bucket of ooligan?

My grandmother, of the Teikweidi-Saanya Kwaan Xoots clan told my brothers they were guardians of the Unuk River and they were the only ones to fish the treasured ooligan not only for themselves but for others who wanted some. There are ancient pictographs along the Unuk which verify this.

My brothers did this for years but they could see the numbers declining not only of the ooligan but the king salmon, coho and sockeye. They pleaded for years with the Fish and Game to check the quality of the water in the Unuk but they would not do that. Instead they simply blamed my brothers for overfishing the river! That is so wrong!! They only fished the ooligan, not the salmon.

So you tell me - where is the wisdom in this ruling? Ooligan oil, my favorite food in all the world, is something I may never taste again. Thank you authorities for watching over our sacred river so well.


Louise  Clark
Ketchikan, Alaska




Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.

Received March 03, 2021 - Published March 07, 2021

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