SOFTBALL, GOLF and FISHING!

WHI/SKY Cup goes to Canadians, again

Jim Sager of Skagway, tees off in the 13th annual WHI/SKY Cup, pitting 20 golfers from Skagway against 20 from Whitehorse, at the Mountain View course.
The Canadians went on to win their 11th cup in 13 tries, but the Americans gave it their all. After being down 8-2 in team matches after the first day, the Skagway and Juneau contingent, taking advantage of handicaps and double scoring in one-on-one matches, lost by a total score of 30-20.
As always, fun was had by all.
–JB

The TrueValue braintrust cheers a play in the field in their final game at Dustball, a heart-breaking 10-8 loss to Sitka American Legion. From left, according to their shirts, are: “Coach” Kent Weinman, “Surfer Chick” Kaylie O’Daniel, and “Manager” John L. O’Daniel. Jeff Brady

Local squads fall at Dustball, co-ed tourney set for Aug. 1-2

Skagway fields all-star men’s, women’s teams at Whitehorse tournament

The Skagway Co-Ed Softball League is wrapping up yet another great season. Commissioner of Softball Dave Mielke has scheduled the annual league championship tourney for next weekend.
The games will be played on Aug. 1 and 2 at the Seventh Pasture and school ballfields.
The Hambones are poised to take home another championship, but the Jackasses and RBI are hot on their heels. Moe’s, the Vigilantes and Chilkat Guides all still have a chance at the trophy, while the Dredgers, the Shirt Company and North Country are hoping for a big upset.
Skagway was well represented in the July 17 - 20 Dust Ball Tournament in Whitehorse.
“It was a great tournament. It was hard having to come back home,” said Mielke.
Robert Murphy’s conglomerate of local teams competed in the men’s division, while Cindy O’Daniel brought a great women’s squad.
“We played really well,” said
ladies’ manager John L. O’Daniel.
“We just ran into one problem: we didn’t bring a pitcher.”
The gal’s lack of a pitcher probably cost them the tournament. They lost to the Haines team after walking in 10 runs in the first inning. A change of pitcher brought them back into the game, only to finish down by one run when time expired, knocking them out of the tourney.
The men’s team, which had players from the Vigilantes, Moe’s, RBI and the Hambones was knocked out before going to the final round as well.
“The weather was hot and the beer was cold, so it was all good,” said O’Daniel.

Speedy Trish Radkey scores on a sacrifice fly ball for the TrueValue team.

Fish This!
Free the salmon?

By ANDREW CREMATA
One day in junior high school I remember an assembly being called in the auditorium for the showing of a movie. Everyone was excited. A rumor began circulating that maybe it was Star Wars or Indiana Jones. It turned out that the “movie” was a short film titled simply “Vandalism”.
A toilet papering of the school grounds the previous week necessitated the reason for the abrupt change in study plans. The perpetrators of the offense had carried out the deed during the rainy season, and clumps of wet two-ply still hung from the trees despite the janitor’s best efforts to remove them.
Some students were interviewed but no one could ever prove exactly who was guilty of bringing this shame upon the entire school.
So like all good schools they decided to teach us a lesson by showing us a movie.
I don’t remember much of it. Assemblies of 500 kids in an auditorium seldom function as planned by the faculty. There was one part that always stuck with me though. It was a part with two boys on a highway overpass dropping small rocks onto the cars speeding below. It seemed innocent enough but one boy got the idea to use a bigger rock. What could possibly go wrong?
The “harmless” prank caused a multi-car pileup and the image of a man holding his hands to his bloody face still lingers in my memory.
In a perfect world, vandalism and fishing have little in common. As we approach our annual salmon run here in Skagway, however, the subject needs to be addressed.
The last couple of years vandals have destroyed the fishing weir and fish holding boxes, releasing chinooks that were otherwise destined for the hatchery.
Who would do such a thing, and why?
Continued from p. 12
Some have blamed kids. The destruction has been quite thorough, causing some to accuse animal activists. Still others, including myself, believe these events to lack reason, much like the boys dropping rocks from the overpass.
Hopefully we can shed some light on the subject with this article, and prevent any repeat performance this year.
I spoke with Randy Erickson from the Department of Fish and Game. He pointed out that this year is the first year of returns for Pullen Pond chinooks since the hatchery program began. Good news for local charter captains, visiting tourists and even us locals. Why? All of us benefit greatly from numerous fish swimming in our waters.
Much like the cyclical nature of the salmon run itself, king salmon in our waters bring revenue, recreation, and regeneration to a resource which has been in limited supply in years past. Indeed, many local captains and recreational fishermen have noted the strength of this year’s chinook run. Obviously the program is working.
Why not let the kings run “naturally” up Pullen Creek, without interference? There has NEVER been a natural run of chinook salmon up Pullen Creek. Without the hatchery efforts there will not be a run of kings up Pullen Creek in the future. We are at a pivotal point for the success of this effort. Erickson points out, “This is a critical year. If we can’t get our brood stock, the while thing will fall apart.”
Pullen Creek is a little sanctuary amidst what is sometimes a vortex of congestion. Who hasn’t been stuck on Congress Way, waiting for the train to pass with horns blaring, tourists scurrying around in droves, tour busses and RVs cramping the intersections, only to look over at Pullen Park and see an oasis of life. Dippers line the shore, Kingfishers sit in the trees waiting for an easy meal, and families cook out at the gazebo while their kids play in the water where these salmon struggle to succeed in the reproduction process.
There are so many eyes on Pullen Park in fact, that if we all pay close attention we can take part in the protection of our resource. If we all are aware of this problem and we see something suspicious a simple phone call to our local police could be all the difference. If Pullen Pond is the salmon’s neighborhood, then one could call it a neighborhood watch.
Erickson even said that once the brood stock quota is met Pullen would be open for king salmon fishing. Right now it is illegal to take kings from anywhere in the pond or creek.
Pink salmon naturally run up Pullen Creek. They will begin their run in the near future. Salmon may only be caught with hook and line, and remember that snagging any fish in Pullen is illegal. Sometimes it can’t be avoided, but a few steps can be taken to minimize the risk of foul-hooking fish.
Remove the treble hooks from your lures and debarb all of your hooks. It is very unlikely you will foul hook a fish with a single hook, and if you do, when the barb has been flattened it is very simple to remove. Most of the time it will fall out by itself.
Also, pink and king salmon both like a slow retrieve. Gently bouncing the lure along the bottom will yield more strikes that you can handle, and a fish hooked in the mouth will most likely survive to spawn if released. A fish hooked in the eye or belly should embarrass any real angler and keeping a foul-hooked fish is illegal. Even if you’re sure the fish will die you must release it. I’ve heard many fishermen, including some local ones; declare that they keep mortally injured undersize fish because throwing them back is a waste.
If you believe this you are wrong. A discarded fish that will not survive returns to its environment and brings food and life to its native world. By ignoring this law you open the door for less responsible anglers to keep undersize fish and you run the risk of a hefty fine from someone like Fish and Game’s Erickson.
If you choose to break these laws you are just as guilty as one who vandalizes the weir and holding boxes.
Hopefully we all desire to see our chinook runs get better and better. A man from Texas told me just the other day that no fish compares to fresh Alaska salmon. We get to eat it so much that sometimes we get sick of it. That is how lucky we are.
By protecting this resource and supporting the hatchery program we are doing our part to ensure that future generations enjoy and benefit from the resource, and that every single person from Texas can come to Skagway and have the best salmon they will EVER eat.
If you happen to be the person(s) who vandalized the weir I hope you can take these words to heart. If not then I will conclude by pointing out that a video camera has been installed over the weir.
Happy fishing!