We've had comments from time to time saying fly fishing and this
website should not be political. In fact, we have stated in our
Bulletin Board Rules, Rules, Policies, and Disclaimers:
"You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this BB to post
any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive,
vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening,
invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violation of any law. You agree not
to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or by this
It does not say you can't express a political opinion or
view - but unfortunately it is difficult for many to do so
without resorting to "false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive,
vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane" language, so we do
discourage 'political' comments.
The truth is most of what happens in our fly fishing world
is political. Before you get the sign out saying
the "LadyFisher is a Nut Case," hear me out.
Who makes the regulations on our fisheries? Seasons or not,
catch and release or catch and keep, limits on size, to stock
or not to stock, introduction of new species, license costs,
protection of the watershed, closure of streams or waters,
endangered species? It's not you and me. It is people who
are appointed or elected to the Fish and Game Commission of
each state. Either way, the biologists can produce and explain
their finding, opinions, and surveys. They aren't the ones who
make the regulations and decisions.
I don't know what the make-up of your state Fish and Game
Commission is, and I'm so disgusted with ours here in Washington
State that I haven't followed all the current commissioners
either, but a year ago, we had one person, Peter Van Gytenbeek,
on the commission who actually knew anything. Peter was very
involved in the Floridia Save Our Sealife (SOS) campaign which
eventually succeeded in getting in-shore netting banned there.
He was also the first paid Executive Director of Trout Unlimited,
and later President of the FFF. The commissioners here have to
be 'approved' by the state legislature, who withheld approval of
Peter for over a year. (Not political?) He hung in and is
officially a commissioner. The rest of the group really has
no background, one was a landscaper, another a farmer's wife
whose husband contributed heavily to the now governor's last
election campaign. So much for the voice of women in government.
It is pathetic. But it gets worse. Those appointed to the
groups which set the number of fish to be taken between the
United States and Canada, and also the numbers of fish which
the tribal and First Nations can catch is again 'appointed.'
For Washington they are usually former employees of the state
fisheries department or former heads of departments. Vested
interested? Does an opposing view to the current party in
office ever get appointed as a department head?
So the same old continues.
How about those who are in charge of the threatened or endangered
species? What is their specific background on fisheries? Their
education? What is their track record? Or are they again
Doesn't anyone care?
If the 'greenies' of the world can have their agenda in the United
States Department of Interior and our excise tax money used to
promote that agenda, is there another term other than 'political'
to describe it?
I spoke of a 'ban the nets' action in Florida. The same kind
of proposal has failed two or three times here in Washington.
One of the reasons is of course, political - everyone wants
control over the fishery. The save-the-salmon people want
netting to stop, surprisingly, groups like the Sierra Club
and Audubon opposed it! That one makes no sense at all,
unless you 'follow the money' and realize if there were lots
of salmon the groups raising money to 'save' the fish would
have to find another cause. This one works. I don't care if
those groups are conservative or liberal, it stinks.
Is that political? What else would you call it?
On the television, radio and print every day are various
comments, editorials and columns about the downfall of our
country due to: global warming or not, over consumption,
SUV's, greed, greenhouse gasses, acid rain, and on and on.
Attack! Are the Democrats the savior of our nation? Or
the Republicans? Or Ralph Nader? I suspect none of those.
Our fly fishing, the waters we fish, the laws covering how
and when we may fish are all controlled by political entities.
The use of the excise tax money (10%) we pay on all of our
fishing stuff is controlled by political entities.
You may not like it, I certainly don't - but you need to know it.
You need to be informed, and we at Fly Anglers OnLine will
continue to try to do that. If all we accomplish is to make
our readers aware of what is happening, one person at a time,
we will help to make informed voters. Don't be afraid to ask
questions of those running for office. If you don't get a
straight answer, don't vote for them.
Perhaps you don't think you are 'political' or that what happens
in local, state or national elections doesn't affect your fishing.
It can be as close to home as a local zoning board granting a new
Wally World next to, or on top of a local wetland. Or paving over
several acres next to a fine trout stream for a parking lot.
It starts at home and carries on through the Federal government.
November is coming soon. Elections are here again.
Inform yourself - and VOTE! ~ LadyFisher
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!