Just after the Board of Fisheries meeting concluded, I couldn't help but think how timeless this video is, well at least about fish politics (the style of the 80's is not so timeless). This documentary was filmed in 1984 and it's purpose was to highlight the differences between the user groups that compete for salmon that return to Alaska's most famous river, the Kenai. I don't know if it was a coincidence that this came out in 1984, but there are two novels that George Orwell is famous for: 1984 and Animal Farm. In Animal Farm Orwell makes the claim that, "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." I'll let you decide who I think is more equal in the upper Cook inlet fishery.
It's a rather long video, nearly 30 minutes, but if you'd like to see a historic perspective of the Kenai River allocation issues, it's well worth the time. My own personal history is I was introduced to the Kenai River (and Jeff King) a year after this film was produced. Other than adding a personal use dipnet fishery, I'm amazed how little things have changed. Same arguments, just different people (except Bob Penney).
Make sure you listen to the closing credit song, Ballad of the Kenai River, written and performed by Hobo Jim. I loved this verse in particular.
Set nettin', drift nettin' that's how it's done.
Trying to catch those salmon before they make that river run.
On the river there's sport fisher's standing by.
Ah, just trying to get those fish before they die.
Strange as it seems these two groups can't get along.
Each claiming rights to the fish, who's right and wrong?
But the real trouble in these two fisheries.
Is they can't fish as often as they please....
Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service