By Dan McDonald
Feb 27, 2020
Yakima Bait Co. has been manufacturing fishing lures for nearly 90 years. We are the quintessential example of sportfishing’s reach into rural communities. Located in Granger, Washington, we employ 50 employees in a town of just over 3,000 people. Maybe more importantly, our products are used by tens of thousands of guides and anglers in remote locations around our region and the world. Sportfishing represents one of the greatest transfers of wealth from urban to rural communities, as families love to recreate together outside.
Wild Snake River salmon abundance is the factor that determines how robust our salmon seasons are, and we’re suffering. The four lower Snake River dams have been stifling wild salmon recovery for decades. Closed or reduced seasons have cost rural communities millions of dollars — revenue necessary to keep our families whole during the lean winter months. Sportfishing businesses can’t take another year of compromised salmon returns, and it looks like we’re headed that way.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown have recently initiated discussions about how to recover these fragile and diminishing returns of wild salmon, while keeping our energy clean and affordable, and keeping our agriculture economy strong. Regional discussions with the farming, fishing and energy sectors will be the last chance to save our jobs. No one wants to see salmon go extinct, and coming together to find workable solutions is what we’re best at. Now is the time we solve this crisis together.
Dan McDonald, Wordens Lures/Yakima Bait president