Alaska Legislators Consider Special Day to Celebrate Salmon

Alaska Rep. Bryce Edgmon, a Democrat from Dillingham, has
asked fellow legislators to honor the state’s beloved wild salmon with a day of
its own, Alaska Wild Salmon Day, to be celebrated every Aug. 10.
“No other of our fish plays such a prevalent role in our
lives, and arguably, no other is as nourishing and appetizing,” said Edgmon, in
his sponsor statement for House Bill 128. “According to a survey conducted
during the summer of 2011, 96 percent of Alaskans feel that salmon is essential
to their way of life.”
Edgmon noted that subsistence fishing for salmon has
sustained Alaska Natives for thousands of years, that recreational fishing for
salmon is a lifelong pursuit for urban and rural residents alike, and that
commercial salmon fishing has been a mainstay industry in Alaska for well over
a century.
“Establishing Aug. 10 as Alaska Wild Salmon Day will
encourage celebrations of these Alaskan ways of life, pastimes, and
professions,” he said.
House Bill 128 sailed through the House on unanimous consent
and in the second week of April was awaiting a hearing in the Senate State
Affairs Committee.
The bill, as written by Edgmon, would “celebrate the
enormous bounty that wild king, sockeye, coho, chum and pink salmon bring to
the state every year.”
The measure calls for educational and celebratory events,
projects and activities to honor wild salmon.

“In addition to Wild Salmon Day being a great opportunity
for Alaskans to celebrate these iconic fish, it will also provide fun and
nutritious marketing opportunities, Edgmon said. “Members of the Alaska tourism
industry are eager to make salmon lovers of visitors to the state, and Alaska
Airlines officials have talked about using their “Salmon Thirty Salmon” jet to
mark the special day.”