EDITORIAL: Celebrate our salmon

Salmon Fest is a time to celebrate our salmon and think about what truly makes us the Salmon Capital of the World.

Port Alberni is the Salmon Capital of the World. And this weekend, the 43rd annual Salmon Festival and fishing derby aims to underline that point to the pretenders, our colleagues to the north in Campbell River.

(Yes, we really put that in print.)

This weekend is a time to celebrate this precious resource, to revel in the return of the chinook however low their numbers (and remember we need to protect them for future generations), and to enjoy the bounty provided to us from the Alberni Inlet.

It is also a time to celebrate those in the Alberni Valley that work hard to protect this precious natural resource, such as the Alberni Valley Enhancement Association volunteers, School District 70 teachers and biologists who run the annual Gently Down the Creek program, West Coast Aquatic for its numerous initiatives and hatcheries such as Omega Pacific on Great Central Lake and Robertson Creek Fish Hatchery.

Several of these groups have received funding from the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s 2014 Community Salmon Program, or from Pacific Western Brewing’s Community Foundation for enhancement programs coming up in the next year. It is a good reminder to those of us who enjoy fishing and eating the fish caught in our waters that it is also up to us to protect our resource.

While we are standing in the lineup at the Salmon Fest barbecue pit on the weekend, it would be wise of us to think about the other side of the fillets, and what truly makes us the Salmon Capital of the World.

— Alberni Valley News