Washington's SPORT of KINGS

Posted by Nick Amato on


President Harry Truman, with a Puget Sound "blackmouth", and Governor Mon C. Wallgren to his right, abourd the M.V. Olympus in 1945.


Once attracting about as many participants as the combined attendance of Seattle's three major league teams, salmon fishing was Washington's first major league sport. In past years this state's catch exceeded the combined sport salmon catches of California, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. Since then, Washington anglers often choose to travel to British Columbia or Alaska to catch salmon - many of which originate in Washington!

In Washington's Sport of Kings the development of salmon angling in Washington's marine waters is documented from its ancient origins, through the Puget Sound resort and boathouse era, heydays on the outer coast, to the present. Early salmon derbies and associated scandals, a knock-down fist fight between a prominent tribal member and a top State fish cop, and a Governor caught using a state-owned boat for his private yacht, are among the many factual vignettes.


Director of Fisheries Donald Moos with a tethered male Wannock River Chinook salmon on a later expedition.


Many controversial issues impacting salmon angling are addressed in this captivating book, including mismanagement, politics, international and In­dian treaties, and the Endangered Species Act. Remedies which could restore fishing to a semblance of its former glory are recommended by the author, a fisheries biologist with 75 years of experience fishing in local waters. Frank Haw served as head of the salmon sport program at its peak, was Deputy Director of Fisheries under two Governors and is uniquely qualified to tell the inside story.




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