Being a part of your community

This past weekend I didn’t catch any fish! We fished the big C and only got to see one fish being netted but it was an amazing sight to see so many boats out there. Of course I wasn’t happy with the competition, but the NW Steelheaders Association – Portland Chapter put together a “wounded for warriors” trip and that is what was such an amazing sight. There were hundreds of boats out on Saturday and I got to meet a few amazing ladies that were part of this chapter and Wounded for Warriors trip. There were plenty of smelt and sea lions out there catching all of the fish so I hope that some warriors were able to find some in the mix.

I also attended the North of Falcon meeting last week in an effort to see what may be done to clean up the Skokomish rivers and some other Puget Sound salmon fisheries this fall. The Skok is where Jeff learned to fish and where I caught my first salmon. It’s not the prettiest place, especially during salmon season, but it COULD be. Anyhow, I’m not writing to talk about the Skok and it’s issues, but rather to talk about my first experience attending a meeting of this nature.

Jeff found the meeting place and time and suggested we go. It was quite controversial and whether or not my voice, or everyone else’s, makes a difference in what regulations are set forth, the point is, our voices were heard. As with most anglers, I complain about other anglers, regulations, rules, hatcheries and the way the programs are managed, but I’m doing nothing except fishing and talking to myself. Iv’e sat back and listened to many other people and what they have to say and learned a great deal just from “fish talk” on the river, and I’ve finally felt that I had a right to attend a meeting and voice my own opinion.

Words, ideas, and suggestions were displayed accross the room. People of all ages spoke their mind and it was in a very organized and idealistic manor. while there was no one conclusion at the end of the meeting and who knows when a final result will be announced, but I left knowing one thing: My voice was heard and it was heard by the right people in the right setting. I went home with many other opinions (and points well-taken) in my mind stirring around as I laid trying to sleep. The point was, this is one fishery and there were 50 people there to support it and who truly cared about the outcome of the program. That doesn’t include the people who don’t know about the meetings, who are busy, or who feel that their voice doesn’t matter so they dont’ attend. But it does matter and your voice is heard.

“When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.”
― Shannon L. Alder