Cowlitzfisherman,

Your argument that fishing is your god given right because mankind has always had the right before governments came along completely begs the question. Where do you get the idea that it was a right before?

Some questions, perhaps rhetorical...

1. Do you have to be a Christian to have this "God-given right? Or, in His benevolence, do even non-believers get to fish?

2. What if your personal god/religion tells you that you have the privilege of the Earth and its resources? Are you screwed, because a guy like you has the right and the other guy only has a privilege? Perhaps you'd have the right to lowhole him, but not someone who believes the way you do? If so, you really scored being born with your right. We'll all have to put stickers on our boats spelling out if we carry the right or merely the privilege so we know who gets to hit the good holes first.

3. Mankind has not always had the right to fish. Being a fisherman in many cultures throughout time has been a position of honor, and people who weren't granted that position of honor did not fish. Did that honor come as a privilege granted by society, or a right granted by God? If it was a right, why didn't they all have it? Are some people just better than others?

4. If you have a GGR (God given right) to fish, is it better than the logger's GGR to harvest trees just as you harvest fish? Or the developer's GGR, perhaps order, to conquer the earth through growth and development? They feel just as strongly about their GGR's as you do. Who's takes precedence? Based on your various opinions, I get three guesses and the first two don't count.

The description of your GGR, your assertion that wild fish don't exist anymore, so let's fill the rivers with hatchery fish and bonk away, and your inability to recognize that Native Americans justify their fishing with the exact same argument that you do, i.e., the fish are there for the taking and it's legal to do so, and our right to do so, troubles me.

It troubles me for two reasons. The first is that I find it incredibly shortshighted and selfish. The second, even more troubling, is that lots of people feel the same way you do. I don't see much in the way of serious improvement in our rapidally degrading environment until people stop feeling entitled to do whatever it is they do to contribute to the problem.

CF, don't take this as a personal attack on you, but as a definite attack on that way of thinking. Perhaps I've vented a bit and been too sarcastic, but this way of thinking really sets me off. Sorry if I've pissed anyone off.

Fish on...

Todd.