Friday, December 28, 2007

The Responsibility of Being a Fishing Celebrity

Many of you have seen the fishing
"superstars" at various fishing industry trade shows haven't you? They usually have a group of people gathered around them as they tout their angling wisdom upon the unlearned masses. You can buy their latest and greatest innovations for fooling even the most stubborn salmon or trout into biting.They seldom miss a photo opportunity.
Yes these are the guys who amaze all of us mere mortals at the indoor casting ponds with their wonderous feats of casting skills.
You'll also see them on television as they hook fish after fish....truly they are fishing heroes.
So where are these guys when there are critical issues at stake and the well being of a certain species of trout or salmon hangs in the balance?
To be fair there are some that actually put their money where their mouth is. You'll see them at the heart of every worthy conservation cause and I have written about a few of them in this blog.These folks are worthy of their fame but most eschew the spotlight as much as they can.
Sadly though those who seem to make the most money and gain the most notoriety and even get enshrined in various so called conservation organization's hall of fame are noticeably absent. They are the ones who jump into the spotlight whenever possible.
We have a bunch of them right up here in the Pacific northwest. You'll rarely see them at any Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife meetings though because they are just too busy schmoozing and making money on the very resource that they claim to care so much about.
Sure they'll be front and center if it makes them more money like the infamous steelhead broodstock programs on the coastal streams but their self centered interest go only as far as the money rolls in.
I believe that these people, these superstars if you will, have a bigger responsibility than us little guys. They make money directly off of the resource. They make their money on the backs of wild fish but are woefully absent when push comes to shove and all of us do have a respondsibilty
I know that I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror if I were making money on those wild resources without giving something back! Think they feel that way?

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