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December 12, 2018

5/16/2018 11:47:00 AM
Fishing for Sockeye not equal

To the editor:
Sockeye season to open June 15 for a month is good news for local hook and line fishermen.
I understand why the Fish Department has opted to close the river during the days the Indians are netting to keep peace. What is concerning to sports fishermen is why the Department has to close the lower river to non-Indians during their open season?
The river from Mount Vernon to the mouth of Gilligan Creek is called “Pump Country” because of shallow water. It is no place for an expensive outboard motor with a propeller on it. I would say over 90 percent of boat owners are equipped with the latter and thus denied the opportunity to fish Sockeye in the Skagit River without jeopardizing their equipment.
In looking at all the reasons for the Department to make this idiotic decision “State sponsored racialism” by those making the rules is in the lead.
Sell all the licenses you can but keep all non-Indians you can away from the lower Skagit River and the Sockeye run.
What is surprising is they haven’t tried the same thing during the Pink and Coho runs … yet.
The Department of Fisheries should overturn this ruling and, if not, at least publish a letter to the public explaining how this isn’t a race-based preference, which is supposed to be illegal in America.
Dennis Sather

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