Standing above Mission Street is an archway welcoming visitors to Ketchikan, the Salmon Capital of the World.
If that proclamation is correct — and it most certainly is — then Alaska itself must be the salmon capital of the universe.
Seriously. Can any other place claim such interaction with salmon?
No — Alaska’s deep and historical reliance upon this fabulous fish for sustenance, recreation and economic activity is unmatched, anywhere.
That’s one reason why officially designating an Alaska Wild Salmon Day makes perfect sense.
“Arguably, no other fish plays such a prominent role in Alaskans’ lives,” said Rep. Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, who introduced the state legislation to annually name Aug. 10 as Alaska Wild Salmon Day.
The House of Representatives unanimously approved House Bill 128 on Tuesday. It’s now being considered by the Alaska Senate, which, in our opinion, should approve it by a similar margin.
Not only would a wild salmon day recognize the roles salmon have in Alaska life, it would provide a great hook for marketing Alaska and its salmon seafood.
Edgmon said he consulted with Alaska tourism, seafood marketing and restaurant industries, in addition to Alaska Airlines, before introducing HB128.
“They all agreed that Alaska Wild Salmon Day can create endless opportunities to make salmon lovers of countless visitors to Alaska,” Edgmon said.
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has written in support of HB128, as have the United Fishermen of Alaska and the Alaska Trollers Association.
“What could be more natural (if not down-right wild) than for Alaska, the biggest salmon state-nation on the planet, to set aside one special day each year to honor the fabulous genus Oncorhynchus?” wrote ATA Executive Director Dale Kelley.
In these days of budget uncertainty and difficult decisions on many fronts, Alaska’s Legislature has few opportunities to dwell, however briefly, on the fine aspects of our state.
We encourage the Senate to take that opportunity and mirror the House action on HB128, and we look forward to celebrating Alaska Wild Salmon Day on Aug. 10, in the Salmon Capital of the World.
— Kethchikan Daily News,