Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Snagging Chum Salmon.....Fun for the Whole Family

Photo by Lambton

While reconnoitering the Miami River today to see how many chum salmon have shown up I stopped at the Moss Creek Bridge for a look down in the deep pool that is below the bridge.
There was a father on one side and his adolescent son on the other bank and in the water was probably 20-30 chum salmon that were near their spawning stage. They bunch up in large number in the Miami and nearby Kilchis river where they are easy target for the unwashed masses.
This father and son team were trying, successfully I might add, to foul hook the salmon in the pool. Oh sure they had a legal spinner on but about 12 inches above the treble hooked spinner these "sportsmen" had attached lead weight.
The kid snagged two or three fish and his proud father apparently taught him well.  As I stood there watching in a sort of sad fascination, trying figure out why a father would teach his son this abhorrent practice, the mom showed up with two daughters to join in the fun.
I had seen enough and drove away to get in cell phone range to call the Oregon State Police in Tillamook to report the snagfest.
This, my friends, is why I no longer fish for salmon! I knew that when I left home today I would most likely see some salmon abuse that would piss me off and I was not disappointed.
Between the snagger family and the asshole running his chartreuse "fly" over spawning chums with his spey rod on the Kilchis I knew that the dark side of fishing was having it's season.
Why ODFW allows the targeting of endangered chum salmon is a complete mystery to me but they do and they actually promote it.
Fall salmon season is a whole different and undesirable ballgame and I am glad I am no longer a participant.
Heavy rains the rest of this week will hopefully push the chums out of their vulnerable lays and into there spawning grounds although they are already spawning in both rivers.
Hopefully OSP got there and maybe a hefty citation will make this shitty dad think better of teaching his kids to disrespect wildlife, especially endangered salmon. I somehow doubt it though as this kid was really into abusing these fish. Way to go dad!


  1. Man...
    Are you sure you were not on my river?
    I had the same experience three times last week. Dad showing junior how to fish by dragging spoons over salmon redds and dryback zombies, then "catching" a disgusting half-dead chinook and dragging it up the bank.
    My dad taught me to put worms on a hook and catch bluegill. He also made me clean the fish if I wanted to keep it.
    Boy, fatherhood is just not the same anymore..
    Or, is it that people today are just so disconnected with nature and any sporting tradition that they think this kind of thing is O.K. Or, are these just troglodytes that would come out of their holes anyway?

  2. It's hard to change somebody that's stuck on stupid. Stupid is forever. I hope, with you, that the OSP nailed them good.



    You sent the inquiry about the cutthroat trout print and your email bounced back

  4. Although I agree that snagging is unsportsmanlike and morally wrong, I don't think that the family mentioned above should have been demonized so viciously. I doubt that their intentions were malevolent and it seems like they were just trying to enjoy a day outdoors. Yes, what they were doing was wrong, but it is likely that their actions stemmed from ignorance of the plight of pacific salmon and not from any desire to commit misdeeds. I believe that educating people like these about salmon conservation is a better course of action than reporting them to the authorities in the hopes of getting them fined or arrested.