Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

December 5, 2012

Outfitters make money on resource paid for by taxpayers

I’m writing to you about the Nov. 28 article written by Times-News staffer Michael Sawyers about those poor outfitters that are suffering so due to the fishing declining on the North Branch of the Potomac River.

Isn’t that kind of like spending your money then complaining that it’s gone? I never heard Mr. Sawyers mention that they turned down clients due to higher water temperatures that will undoubtedly cause much higher mortality of the trout they catch and release. Did they? I flyfish myself and light tippets and longer fights put more stress on the fish regardless of water temperature but especially in warmer water.

In the Nov. 28 article, Mr. Heresniak boasted he floated the river 70 to 80 times per season in years past with great sucess. How many of those fish died unbeknownst to him while he was making money on a public resource that the taxpayers pay for? I understand the article was about water flow levels that cause higher water temperatures, but the points I’m making are definitely valid ones. I’ve flyfished most of my life and know the things I’ve said are correct.

I’m fairly certain when I say the average fisherman has no sympathy for the outfitters that exploit a public resource for personal gain making less money due to water levels. It seems that the people who help to create a problem usually complain about the problem they’ve helped create. I for one have experienced what a barrage of outfitters can do to a river since I’ve fished the Upper Delaware River that borders Pennsylvania and New York for 25-plus years and I know the effect they’ve had on that river.

Maybe if the outfitters give the river a break the taxpayers’ public fishing may improve.

John M. Lee

Springfield, W.Va.

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