Thursday, December 09, 2010

The World is Our Oyster

I was just browsing the mega Pacific northwest website and sometimes soap opera known as and reinforced. once again, my belief that sports anglers have to be among the most selfish and greedy bunch in the world. Everything from hatchery fish are our God given right to saying tough shit house boat owners the wake our water crafts put out is just something you are going to have deal with because we gotta a mess of fish to catch! Barbless hooks? forget it because it may cause me to catch less salmon.
In fairness though, is not the only place where this self serving, "Screw everyone else I gotta get mine" mentality exists on the world wide web. It's pretty much everywhere.
It will come off sounding overly pessimistic but I have deep fears and doubts that we will ever save what little wild salmon and steelhead there are left because we just have no desire to sacrifice anything in favor of our own greed.
My generation grew up with our parents giving us everything we wanted. I had all the latest toys and bikes etc. because my folks gave them to me but failed to instill any kind of charitable character traits. I'm sure most of you had similar childhoods. To overcome the "me first" attitude we had to struggle and force ourselves to actually care about something bigger than ourselves. It's still and effort for me!
Some my age never over came it and they have passed "The world is my oyster" mentality down to their own children.
Fishing for salmon and steelhead in this region has brought out the worst in people and they cannot wrap their pea brains around the notion that they can no longer kill and harvest everything and anything they want. When told that there are not enough returning fall chinook in several watersheds they are outraged.
I've bitched about the "Harvest Mentality" for most of the almost 5 years this blog has been in existence. I've singled out Tillamook county as the worst offender but in retrospect maybe that was unfair. Oh sure they own a lot of the blame for their piss poor attitude about wild fish issues but they are really not much different than anglers around the Portland metro area.
My brother recently asked me during a heated political debate what I have done to change things. In my defense I listed the activities I have been involved with for wild salmonids however if I were truthful I would have said I have not done enough. I guess the thing that bothers me most is not just the half-assed efforts of people like myself but those who think more hatchery fish, broodstock programs that rob wild salmon and steelhead of the eggs that are needed to perpetuate the wild spawning species. They actually think that what they do is necessary and they feel good about it.
Listen folks, and this may come as a shock to some of you, but the state of Oregon and Washington is not obligated to supply you or me with fish to kill especially at the expense of what few wild salmon and steelhead are left.
The world is not our oyster no matter what Falstaff may have said. We get out of it what efforts we put into it and sadly, when it comes to wild trout, salmon and steelhead those efforts and attitudes are lacking.

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