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.”