Sunday afternoon my 13 year old son asked if we could go fishing down on the Duwamish River which is only a couple miles from our house. I said why not and off we went to find some chum salmon.
For those who are not from Seattle the Duwamish River runs through the city of Seattle and eventually finds it's way out into the suburbs where industrial growth borders both sides of the river. There are many rivers that feed into it, such as the Ceder River, and the Green River to name two. The Green being famous because the Green River Killer used to dump his victums into its surrounding bushes. We fished the tide flats on an incoming tide and I must say there were no flats anymore as all marshes were filled in around 1850 to 1900 to make room for shipping and industry. We started out on the river across from Boeing Feild and found no fish coming to the surface which I thought odd at this time of year. So we packed up and headed further down river and every placed we stopped we found nets strung across the river. Usually it would be two nets one on each side and 30 or 40 feet apart with an opening for boat traffic. But the openings were always the same in that the boat traffic would have to manuver at an angle to get between the nets. In other words fish to get lucky enough to make it by the nets would have to be lucky enough or smart enough to figure out a complex path of travel.
The Seattle Sunday paper this very day had a front page article on the incredible waste of money both federal and state being put into Salmon restoration on urban rivers where there has been little sucsess in bringing back Salmon populations. Here I was sitting in a small park with broken booze bottles, syringes and sleeping, less fortunate folks than us and thinking about how gloomy this whole show is. Even my son mentioned how odd this whole fishing show we were experiencing was.
Yesterday became a day of understanding of how bad things can be, how far over many years we as humans have come in the wrong dirrection. It is not to say that we do not need developement but that we have gone about it in such a selfish and greedy manner that we possibly can not get things back to a more healthy environment with the infussion of great amounts of money. Maybe rivers such as the Duwamish should just be left alone and let nature take its 1000 years to wipe out the developement to purge its bottom from PCB's and to take it back our mistakes on its own time frame. Maybe we need to spend the less and less funding coming our way on rivers that have a chance to be saved and let dead rivers be.