Letters to the Editor

Fishing returns

With “big data” satellite surveillance, U.S., Russian and other enforcers of the UN’s 23-year-old high-seas salmonid fishing prohibition in the North Pacific soon will be allowing Chinooks, cohos and fishers to return en masse to the Northwest. Add practicable restrictions on seining, gill netting and long-lining inside the 200-mile limit here to Attu, as well, and even more of our kings and silvers will return.

Back into close touch with local markets, our returned fishers soon will want more water filtering by more clams, mussels, scallops and oysters from Lummi Bay to Neah Bay to Cornwall Beach in order to get herring back, as well. Suddenly in support of a secondary sewage plant at Victoria, they’ll likely also push for 100-foot treed riparian setbacks along rivers flanked by deep-root agricultural “nutrient buffers” and/or nitrate-grabbing “buried wood-chip trenches” to catch farmland runoffs.

And, but for our state’s overly-limiting Model Toxics Control Act, funding endorsed by Sen. Ericksen’s environment committee for cleaning up waterfronts and filtering storm drains eventually could have the same fishers returning fresh halibut and other Salish bottom feeders to tables — not-to-mention more monies to their pockets!

Finally, after reading “King of Fish” and “American Catch,” returned fishers, too, could cut environmental funding enormously by “river watching” when not fishing, their 14 or so two-page synopses cumulatively rendering habitat improvements that are quick, efficient and less impacting on farmers.

Terry Montonye, Bellingham