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Fishing Gone

by Matt Herron
Seattle Times, April 18, 2006

A rite of passage vanishes over the dam like so many salmon

(Kirk Lyttle) Fishing in emptiness One of the many joys of becoming a new father is planning all of the great adventures I want to share with my son when he is older. Of the many things we will do, I have lost almost all hope of seeing my son catch his first Columbia River salmon in my lifetime.

"Salmon failing to show up" [Times, Local News, April 13] is yet [more] bad news for those who value salmon and steelhead as a way of life in the Pacific Northwest. While the state and federal government have done a great job of convincing themselves that fishing closures for commercial, and now sport, fishermen are the answers to the salmon crisis, they haven't fooled me.

Dams like those on the lower Snake River are the only thing stopping my son from landing his first Chinook, and they are the same things decimating salmon populations in the Columbia River Basin.

It is time for the people responsible for protecting our natural resources to stop wasting billions of dollars on ineffective recovery plans and stop hiding behind the veil of passivism. The federal government and leaders of our state must take a hard look at the answers that science has already provided us and come to the reality that dams can be removed, their services can be replaced, and salmon can swim in our rivers.

I shouldn't have to thaw out fish to celebrate my son's rite of passage.

Matt Herron, Seattle
Fishing Gone
Seattle Times, April 18, 2006

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