Sean Jansen ("Steelhead Days," March 9) wrote an excellent article about our magnificent steelhead. I have always said that the only reason God invented salmon was for the steelhead to have something to eat on their way up the river.
Denver Nelson, Eureka
I want to share a couple thoughts about the Humboldt "Steelhead Days" (HSD) article by Sean Jansen (NCJ March 9). It's a wonderful piece detailing the difficulty and rewards of angling for our local steelhead. While the photos are very artistically shot and I commend Jansen in his efforts and work, one photo shows a wild native origin steelhead lying out of the water on gravel while it is being measured for the contest.
Having wild steelhead out of the water is antithetical to the "keep them wet" fish handling practices that the Humboldt Steelhead Days contest promotes. In fact, any entries to the contest that show a wild steelhead out of the water are disqualified by the judges. Recent science suggests that for every 10 seconds an anadromous fish is removed from the water proportionally reduces its chances of successfully spawning. As a steelhead fisherman, learning how to catch these elusive fish is only one part of the process, and knowing how to properly handle and care for the fish is even more important if we want our local stocks to thrive years to come.
Other HSD contest participants are measuring their wild steelhead catch in a submerged net or in shallow water. This does make the measuring process more difficult, but don't these amazing fish deserve it?
Ishan Vernallis, Arcata