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Letter: Kabekona River needs saving

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Those of us that live in northern Hubbard County know about and appreciate the Kabekona River. What most of us are unaware of is the push to change and regulate the river. I recently attended the DNR forum to inform and get the public opinion. It really left me feeling as if I had been to a square dance. They do-se-doed around every question and interrupted every speaker. The local chapter of Trout Unlimited asked the DNR to check out the Kabekona River, whom I might add do not live nor pay taxes here.

Repeatedly we were told it was a healthy, beautiful river. They showed graphs and charts all complied and paid for by our tax dollars. TU wanted to fix a half mile stretch of river bank that was eroding. Now a slot limit? How did we get from repair to slot? When the people voiced not changing the river that is one of the few in the state that is self-regenerating they were informed that the fish were not big on average. Let's not forget this river empties into the Kabekona Lake. Could that be where the big ones go?

We all want to preserve the beauty of the river but do not want the DNR to come in and use it for another experiment. There was a chart showing the size of the fish over a block of years. This chart showed a four-year span of lower size and numbers. I asked if this could be due to drought conditions not intensive harvest and did not receive an answer, just another do-se-do! When asked if it could be put to a vote of the people in this county the answer was an emphatic "no" complete with head shake.

The question was posed to lower the limit and the answer, "that would be too hard to enforce that we needed to hit them where it hurts." Hit who where it hurts? When did we give up our democracy? I have to wonder if the landowners along the river were even informed of this meeting. There were signs posted at public entrances to the river and on the DNR website. Was that it? We all need to get the word out and contact officials to stop this snow job!

Penny Olson

Laporte

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