Abolishing the sport fishery for steelhead in the Thompson River (Time To End Steelhead Sport Season, The Daily News, Oct. 9) isn’t going to restore a flourishing population of the mighty fish. Not in our lifetime, anyway.
What’s needed is for biologists to get their head out of the sand and rethink their dogged refusal to introduce hatchery fish to the Thompson. They should take a look at what’s happening back east where there’s now a huge sport fishery for salmon and steelhead in Lake Ontario, of all places. That lake was so polluted not that many years ago that you could almost walk across it! Now these great fish are thriving. Why are fisheries so dead against the introduction of hatchery steelhead? I’m sure the folks in Spences Bridge would embrace the idea. And, really, without a steelhead fishery, the Thompson can hardly be laballed as “classified waters.”
And while we’re at it, let’s keep the river open to those of us who target rainbow trout rather than steelhead. Catch and release? Single barbless hook? Fine.