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Voting with your fly rod: Snoqualmie Brewery to host film documentary on saving Bristol Bay fishery
Sports fishermen and commercial fishermen don't always see eye to eye. But Snoqualmie resident Matt Marinelli has been on both sides of the fly rod, and he sees the importance of a healthy fishery to every kind of angler.
Marinelli, a member of the anglers' group Trout Unlimited, is organizing a showing of the documentary "Red Gold," 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company taproom. "Red Gold" tells the story of efforts to protect a major Northwest salmon and trout fishery, Alaska's Bristol Bay, from mine development.
Marinelli worked as a commercial fisherman on Bristol Bay, a vast, pristine region adjoining the Bering Sea.
"It was like going to a different planet," he said. "It's so remote, you can't help but feel that it is completely untouched."
Trout Unlimited is part of an alliance to protect Bristol Bay from development of gold and copper mines. Campaigners say such development could destroy one of the last major wild salmon runs left in this country.
"That's one of the most important fisheries in the world," Marinelli said.
He urges residents to join him in a letter-writing campaign aimed at urging federal legislators to stop the mine plan. Following the showing, campaign members will talk about writing letters to influence Eighth District Congressman Dave Reichert.
Marinelli says locals should care about the fate of the Bristol Bay fishery. Many Washington residents work or depend on the Alaskan commercial and sports runs.
"People don't realize how many people like myself have been financially sustained by that fishery," he said.
• To learn more about the Save Bristol Bay campaign, visit http://www.facebook.com/SaveBristolBay. Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Company is located at 8032 Falls Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie.