The Seattle Times (TST) has taken their readers, many of which are readers of THE REEL NEWS, to another level. Unfortunately, that new level is a notch down and backwards for those of us that enjoy the outdoors and more specifically, fishing and hunting and gathering of our given resources.
TST is one of the largest newspapers on the west coast and has been a staple for many readers over the years. Even in my youth when I had a paper route I would seek out news in the sports section that had to do with my passion for fishing.
In early May long time outdoor columnist Mark Yuasa sent out a notice of his impending departure from TST on May 26th stating that, “The Paper feels that fishing and hunting is no longer part of their demographics of readers.”
Fishing and boating in Washington is a $3-billion industry but it doesn’t fit in TST’s demographics? Isn’t that like saying there is no reason to print the stock market reports or the television schedules due to demographics…both of which no longer seem to deserve ink on their pages either. Hmmm.
Mark was offered to switch jobs with them but declined. He was employed with TST for a whopping 26 years! He was rightfully quite proud that never once did he miss his deadline for a Thursday fishing report nor his Sunday column during his writing career, even while on vacation. Often his reports included interviews of our monthly contributors Tony Floor and PSA State Board President Ron Garner, just to mention a few.
Paul Barrett, Sports Editor for TST made this statement following an inquiry regarding Mark and their overall coverage of the outdoors:
“I understand your concerns. Mark has decided to leave the company, and he will be missed. After Mark’s departure, we no longer will cover outdoors in Sports. This was not an easy decision, but one that was necessary considering our evolving readership and limited resources. And we are not eliminating outdoors coverage in The Times. All outdoors content after Mark’s departure will be shepherded elsewhere in our newsroom and will appear in other sections.”
How absurd is that?!
If you are interested, you can reach out to Mr. Barrett at his office phone 206-464-2093, his personal cell at 206-471-2983, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or cast him a twitter @paulbarrett6.
MORE BAD TIMES
So with Mark gone, who will some of the outdoor coverage be “shepherded” to, as Mr. Barrett noted. Let’s hope it isn’t Brian Cantwell, their Times travel and outdoor editor. (206-748-5724) email@example.com.
Cantwell recently wrote an article titled, “Is hook-free fly-fishing the next big thing?”
Are you kidding me? Wouldn’t that be kind of like kissing your sister? (No offense Sis.)
Cantwell said that “Hooking and reeling the fish is only material if you plan on eating it, which most anglers don’t do these days.”
WHAT???!!! Sorry Brian, but not with this readership!
Then he poses the questions of “Is it fishing if you don’t use a hook? Or is it just casting? Can it be done legally out of season? Or are you still harassing the fish?”
He closes out his article stating that after his first experience with fly-fishing he has an itch to try it again. He says, “I’m hooked. But maybe the fish don’t need to be.”
Man-o-man, I’m missing Mark Yuasa already.
Yes, Bad Times. Maybe they need to be Timesd-Out.
Thanks to Al Senyohl, President of the Steelhead Trout Club of Washington, WDFW has agreed to a meeting regarding the Skokomish Tribe’s transfer of Baker Lake sockeye brood stock (which should be used to increase sockeye population in Baker Lake for sport fishing) to the tribe’s facility on Hood Canal. The Skokomish Tribe has refused future recreational angling in “their” waters.
The meeting will be on Thursday, June 29th at Sedro Woolley High School beginning around 6:00 PM. This would be a good time to offer your opinion on the tribe’s denial of recreational fishing access and loss of opportunity at one of the last sockeye fisheries in the Puget Sound region.