Fishing for Votes
Commercial salmon fishing should be shut down in Washington state to save endangered salmon runs, says former radio talk show host John Carlson, the favorite to win the Republican primary for governor in the state. As governor, Carlson says he would ban nets used by almost all commercial and tribal fisheries. Carlson: “It makes no sense to call a fish endangered and then lay thousands of yards of gill nets to trap an endangered species while it’s on its way to lay eggs.” Commercial and Indian fishers, along with Gov. Gary Locke (D), who is running for re-election, said Carlson’s plan would violate Indians’ treaty rights and wouldn’t go a long way toward helping the fish. Locke said most commercial fishing in the state is aimed at hatchery-bred salmon, not wild salmon. Both Carlson and Locke would leave in place four dams on the lower Snake River in southeastern Washington that scientists say are a major cause of salmon declines.