Community

Salmon Snagging

Salmon snagging is not like other forms of fishing. I was introduced to it as an adult, and to me fishing is the art of deception, of all those careful and clever tricks to convince a fish to bite. Fishing is fancy lures, artfully designed to mimic a tasty insect, or endless patience (it’s possible that better fishermen might require less patience).

This isn’t to say that snagging doesn’t require skill, as it does, but it’s a very different process. It is also not generally allowed. Our District Fishing Regulations note that “All waters are closed to snagging of game and non-game fish, except as otherwise noted under District Exceptions”. A closer read provides details for the very specific where and when that snagging is permitted.

Salmon snagging is not about getting the fish to bite. Instead it involves snagging any part of the fish on the hook and then reeling the fish in. The Kokanee salmon, for which snagging is allowed (seasonally) were introduced to Flathead lake in 1914. They’re now common throughout the western portion of our state.

Most salmon spend a majority of their life in the ocean before returning to spawn in their home stream. While Kokanee salmon do not spend any time in the ocean, they do still journey to reproduce. They either travel up streams or to the lake shoreline to spawn.

At the end of their four year life cycle, towards the end of the year (November-December), the salmon travel in order to spawn. When adult salmon begin their journey to spawn, they stop eating. As they aren’t biting at this stage, snagging is a more effective method for catching them during their spawning runs. After they spawn, the adult salmon die.

Salmon snagging is only permitted in certain locations, at certain times. Limits on salmon vary by location, so be sure to check the regional fishing regulations.

Community

LEC members voted to let all members vote

Lincoln Electric Cooperative members voted to give voting rights to all members. Granted, that’s not actually what Proposed By-Laws Change #4 said, but it is precisely what it accomplished. While there was a delegate certificate included in the Notice of Annual Meeting, it applied only to voting “the membership of a corporation, association, school, political body, church or firm with multiple ownership”. Individuals cannot vote by proxy (See article 3, section 4 of the by-laws).

Individuals cannot vote by proxy, and members were required to register and vote at the meeting in order to vote. So, who couldn’t vote at this last meeting?

Effectively, for Canadian Members of LEC, voting was prohibited this year. While our Canadian neighbors have some capability to cross the border, it’s limited and comes with a mandatory 14 day quarantine -It’s insane to expect anyone to donate 2 weeks of their lives purely for a LEC meeting, however exciting the meeting.

But it wasn’t just Canadian Members that couldn’t attend. This year’s Notice of Meeting included the warning of limited bathroom facilities, and for some members of our community that’s a huge issue [It’s hard to imagine that bathroom visits every10-15 minutes aren’t sufficiently limiting of major life activities to qualify under ADA].

But- no more! While some members of LEC have been previously denied their vote at the annual meetings, this will no longer be the case. The Proposed By-Laws Change #4, passed at Saturday’s meeting will give them the same ability to vote as other LEC members. This change introduced mail-in ballots, which means physical attendance of the meetings will no longer be a requirement to vote.

While mail-in ballots are not without problems, this change will make LEC more accessible to its members. To read the by-law changes (all passed), check out the Notice of Annual Meeting, found here.