We have more in common than we may think

  • Saturday, November 21, 2015 4:00pm
  • News

The Kenai Peninsula chapter of Trout Unlimited recently hosted a gathering with the purpose of swapping fish tales — one of our favorite pastimes here on the Kenai Peninsula.

This gathering, however, and the tales told, included stories from both sport and commercial fishers. And while methods and means may be different, there is a common thread running through every narrative: fishing is a passion. It draws people down to the water season after season.

That people are passionate about fishing is not a news flash.

We’ve known that all along. In fact, the reason we have so much disagreement over fishing regulation is because of that passion.

But finding a way to use that passion to bring us all together, rather than letting it drive us apart, is a sentiment worth reflecting upon.

At the Trout Unlimited gathering, the Clarion reported that, when asked why they fish, participants cited a sense of place, camaraderie, adventure, and the opportunity to be outdoors as motivations — regardless of what type of fishing they do.

“I think the whole point of me wanting to give this talk at all was that all of those things are … a common thread through any type of fishing,” Allie Cunningham, a Trout Unlimited board member with recent experience in the commercial fishery, told the Clarion.

We’re still more than a year away from the next Board of Fisheries Upper Cook Inlet meeting. There’s growing impetus to hold the meeting in the Kenai-Soldotna area for the first time since 1999.

Much has changed since then, and there’s plenty of people from all walks of the fishing life willing prioritize conservation and sustainability. They want to see productive fishing on the Kenai Peninsula for generations to come, whether it’s fishing as a pastime, a lifestyle or an occupation.

Leading up to the 2017 meeting, we hope such gatherings continue. Whether they’re casual meetings or formal policy forums, it is crucial that Kenai Peninsula fishermen present a sense of unity at the next fish board meeting, wherever it happens to be.

Too many other organizations in Southcentral Alaska continue to use fishery issues as a political wedge when it comes to setting policy.

Debates over fishing on the Kenai Peninsula will never be free from controversy. Again, we appreciate the passion that all user groups bring to the table.

But the more we find the common ground among competing interests, the more productive and beneficial those debates are going to be.

More in News

Sockeye salmon. (Photo via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Fish and Game seeks comment on 2022 sport fish stocking plan

The Sport Fish Division plans to release approximately 7 million fish into the Alaska water systems over the next five years.

A map shows which parts of the Chugach National Forest are open to motorized winter recreation use for the 2021-2022 season. (Map courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Parts of Chugach National Forest open to snowmachine use

The 2021-2022 winter motorized season will run through April 30.

Kenai Police Department Chief David Ross explains the purpose of a grant to be used for new radios during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Police to update radios using grant money

The department received almost $260,000 through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Democratic Party candidate for governor Les Gara attends a Zoom meeting with Homer residents on Nov. 18, 2021, from his Anchorage, Alaska, home. (Screen capture)
Gara makes election pitch to Homer

Democratic Party candidate for governor Gara visits virtually.

A man missing for more than 40 years was identified by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation as a Chugiak resident who was last seen in 1979. The man’s body was discovered on an island near Anchorage in 1989. (Courtesy photo/Alaska Department of Public Safety)
Body found in 1980s ID’d through DNA analysis

The body, found in 1989, had been unidentified until now.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID continues decline; 1 new death

The state had an estimated rolling average of 253.3 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham addresses state and Alaska Native leaders Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. Dillingham will travel to Toksook Bay, on an island just off Alaska’s western coast, for the first count on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Census reports minimal state population growth

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s population grew by about 3,400 people between the 2010 and 2020 census.

The old Homer intermediate school building, showing the Homer Boys & Girls Club and gym on the south side of the building at the corner of the Sterling Highway and Pioneer Avenue.
The old Homer intermediate school building on the corner of the Sterling Highway and Pioneer Avenue, as seen in October 2010. It’s now known as the Homer Educational and Recreational Complex, or HERC. (Homer News file photo)
Homer awards contract to study use of rec complex site

The goal is to help the city understand the maximum use of that property.

Genna Stormer gives Santa a hug during Christmas Comes to Nikiski at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Dec. 14, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
December brings the holiday cheer

Groups across the peninsula get into the spirit of the season with public events.

Most Read