Fish Sniffer Digital Edition Issue 3703 Jan 18-Feb 2 2018 - Page 5

Jan 18 - Feb 2, 2018 VOL.37 • ISS. 02 Hey Dan! — Letters To The Editor COVER STORY 3 Established 1982 What’s on your mind? Do you have something you’d like to share with us and our readers? A picture... a story... a question to ask, or an answer to another? Let’s hear your compliments, or your gripes! Whatever it is, send it to: HEY, DAN!, c/o Fish Sniffer Publications, The Fish Sniffer - P.O. Box 776, Colfax, CA 95713, or you can now e-mail it at danielbacher@fishsniffer.com. Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of pictures or text. Thanks! Captain Roger Thomas Passes Away Hey Dan! Lawson said, “When I first met Roger, I was a kid working on my uncle’s party boat. Once I started commercial fishing, anytime there was a crisis in the industry, he was always there cam- paigning. He was a champion of the fisheries, always there hammering for the fisheries, for everyone. He’s going to be missed.” “Roger could have stayed home but instead whenever he wasn’t fishing he was traveling and working on behalf of the rest of us who fish salmon,” said GGSA executive director John McManus. “He was a great inspiration to me and many others.” In the 1980s, he was appointed by then Vice President George Bush to the National Sea Grant Review Panel. In this role, he traveled to ports around the country and helped decide which projects were worthy and would be funded. Roger was instrumental in helping pass the 1992 Central Valley Improvement Act, a key law to protect salmon and the Bay Delta. When salmon populations collapsed in 2008 and 2009, Roger worked closely with Congress to success- fully provide disaster relief to salmon fishermen. Roger Thomas’ tireless work earned him the respect and adoration of countless people up and down the west coast and across the country. He will be sorely missed. GGSA secretary Dick Pool, who partnered with Roger on salmon issues for over 30 years, said, “Roger was an iconic leader in the man- agement and enhancement of West Coast salm- on and other marine fish. He spent a lifetime working to improve the conditions for the fish and for fishermen. His work and legacy will last for many decades into the future.” San Francisco -- It’s with great sadness that the Golden Gate Salmon Association an- nounces the passing of Captain Roger Thomas from pancreatic cancer. Thomas passed on the morning December 19 with his lifelong friend and partner Captain Jacky Douglas at his side. Roger Thomas was captain of the charter boat Salty Lady, a member of the California Outdoor Hall of Fame, and a lifelong advocate to keep west coast salmon fisheries alive and sustainable. Everyone knew him to be an hon- orable and remarkable man, a friend, mentor and colleague. In a recognition, he received from the US Congress in May, he was found to be “one of the most decent and hard-work- ing human beings one can know.” Born in Gilroy, California, he started fishing at an early age for striped bass from the beach- es along Monterey Bay and later for salmon from a small boat launched at the Monterey Pier. He was hooked on salmon fishing and be- came a regular customer on charter boats out of San Francisco. He worked as a deckhand on a charter boat and later got his own captain’s license in 1968. He represented the charter boat fleet boats from Fort Bragg to Monterey as President of the Golden Gate Fishermen’s Association from 1973 until this year. He was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Salmon Association, a coalition of commercial and recreational fishermen and others that works to protect and restore Central Valley salmon habitat. ~Michael Coats, Golden Gate For 14 years, he served on the Pacific Fish- Salmon Association (GGSA) eries Management Council (PFMC), which, among other duties, sets the ocean salmon seasons. Roger was a member of the Bay Hey Michael! Delta Advisory board, the Winter Run-Captive I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of Rog- Broodstock Committee, the Central Valley er Thomas. I spent many hours with him fighting Fisheries Coalition, the Marine Advisory for the passage of the Central Valley Project Committee to the Secretary of Commerce, Improvement Act of 1999, battling to defend it in the Coastal Resources Foundation, the Pacific the face of Congressional attacks and working to States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Na- restore salmon and other West Coast fisheries. tional Sea Grant Review Panel and the Marine I completely agree with recognition he Resources Committee. received from the US Congress in May when Victor Gonella, founder of GGSA, remem- he was found to be “one of the most decent and bers Roger Thomas as a man that touched his hard-working human beings one can know.” life deeply. “From his fishing expertise to During his 14 years of service on the PFMC, his constant grace under pressure in adverse I frequently talked to him about the salmon and conditions while fighting for salmon, Roger groundfish seasons and regulations. He was the was always a true gentleman. Both at the state one person I knew who could always explain in and federal level, including his many trips to clear and concise terms exactly what was going Washington DC, he represented California on at any given time. salmon interests. For over 40 years Roger I also served with Roger on the Board of made a major difference in maintaining our the Golden Gate Salmon Association for three California salmon stocks and the sustainable years, as well as on the Water4Fish.org Board harvest they allow. Roger was a true salmon of Directors, I’m very proud to be a member of hero.” the California Outdoor Hall of Fame along with In addition to salmon fishing out of Sau- Roger. salito and Half Moon Bay, Roger ran whale Roger will be greatly missed by recreational watching and nature trips that introduced thou- anglers, commercial fishermen, environmental- sands of children and adults to the magic of ists and all of those who care about the oceans, marine life. He spent more than 10,000 days rivers, fisheries and the public trust on the ocean where he shared his deep knowl- ~Dan edge and appreciation of the natural world. He was one of the last to see San Joaquin Spring 2906 San Jose’s most “COMPLETE” tackle store! run chinook