My Book Report
Remember in elementary school when you had to do book reports? Man those were awful. "My book report is on Superfudge by Judy Blume." Looking back though we realize the value of learning to critically read, write and analyze. At least some of us do.
Hence my post today about a book I just finished but should've read seven or eight years ago, David Mongomery's King of Fish: The Thousand Year Run of Salmon. For all fly fisermen, gear fishermen and anyone interested in conservation this is required reading. But really this book is almost more important for those not familiar with salmon and rivers and the fact we are both directly and indirectly trying to extinguish them from the planet. Plainly written, you do not need to be a salmon scholar or scientist to understand this work. Montgomery beautifully and logically lays out the history of salmon, human interaction and the disastrous consequences that resulted.
From Atlantic salmon in Europe in medieval times to the East Coast in colonial and modern time up to the present on the West Coast and the salmon crisis we are currently in he deftly shows the entirely human caused destruction of salmon everywhere. It shows the big picture. Montgomery identifies the key factors in the decline of salmon and even lays out a simple (yet in our pathetic political system a plan that seems almost an impossibility) for salmon recovery. It's a startling book even for those, like myself, that have been involved in and understand the environmental and political salmon wars in the Northwest. One of the most amazing this to me was as far back as medieval England people realized the importance of healthy salmon runs, laws were passed for their protection and laws continued to be passed in the New World as well yet they were simply ignored in large part and salmon runs continued to dwindle. The vast scale of wonton overfishing (or netting as it's really called) described in this book served only to reinforce my own view of the shame of buying commercially caught (or grown) salmon and supporting the maximum sustainable harvest mentality that has utterly failed.
Read this book and you will understand the fall of salmon. But you will also understand the actions needed to begin the return and rise of the salmon and maybe with enough people and grassroots action we can reverse the current status quo and bring salmon back to sustainable levels. People and salmon can coexist, Montgomery shows us how, but we have to be willing to make sacrifices now for our benefit in the future.
Recent blog posts
- Summer is ending let's get ready for the Fall
- One-way ticket to Belize please
- Summer time!
- Lower Sac wine maker's weekend trip report
- New issue Florida Fly Fishing Magazine Online Vol 3 # 4
- Total Eclipse of the Truckee
- Fly fishing for Bones on Andros South Bahamas
- Jeff Putnam fly fishing school has one spot open!
- Hogan says it is time to wet a line...and we agree!