Happy Hooker Eats Sea Kittens

By Kimberly Mason / For The Chronicle
Anyone who knows me well knows that I avoid controversial topics like the plague. Just give me the good news and let me live in my happy, bad-news-free world, that’s all I ask.
I stopped watching the evening news a long time ago and I avoid engaging in debate over hot-topic issues. I figure if it’s important I’ll read about it in The Chronicle or hear about it on Facebook.
But a recent Associated Press headline caught my eye and I feel compelled to say something about it, in spite of my controversy-avoiding policy.
“PETA Plans Porn Website to Promote Message.”
Say what? Yup. Read on.
“People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is planning to launch a pornographic website to promote its animal rights and vegan diet message, a move that critics say will backfire and ostracize them from mainstream society,” said the opening paragraph AP article.
Apparently, part of PETA’s plan is to link fishing and prostitution. Yes, you read that right; they’re calling fishermen “hookers” and are providing literature at fishing hot spots carrying the message “Don’t let your kids become hookers.”
I traveled over to the PETA website to discover for myself what they had to say. From there I landed on the “Save the Sea Kittens” campaign.
PETA seems to believe that it’s time that fish received help from a new PR team, and they’ve elected themselves to that role.
“Whoever was in charge of creating a positive image for fish needs to go right back to working on the Britney Spears account and leave our scaly little friends alone,” states the PETA Save the Sea Kittens website. “You’ve done enough damage, buddy. We’ve got it from here. And we’re going to start by retiring the old name for good. When your name can also be used as a verb that means driving a hook through your head, it’s time for a serious image makeover. And who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?”
I’ll answer that question — me. I want to put a hook through the mouth of a rather large sea kitten known to most as the king of sea kittens, the chinook salmon.
This is probably as controversial as I’ll ever get in an Outdoors column, but I have to say it and say it loud and proud, “I’m a happy hooker who eats sea kittens for breakfast.”
But first I have to catch one.
My eldest son and I haunted the Barrier Dam area of the Cowlitz River searching for a tasty chinook salmon this week. Only two, out of the 15 kings my son hooked into this week, were sporting clipped adipose fins. All the rest had to be tossed back.
I haven’t hooked into a single fish this week. My lack of fishing success may be due to the fact that as I’m standing thigh deep in the rushing waters of the Cowlitz, uneasily balanced in water-filled boots on top of slippery stones, I’m praying like heck that I don’t hook into a fish so large that it drags me down the river.
I watched a 40-plus pounder drag my new friend Richard Aust, Silver Creek, all the way from the fishing hole to the boat ramp at Barrier Dam on Friday. He was huffing and puffing and complaining about being out of shape after the 15-minute battle concluded.
It’s no wonder I enter the water with a healthy amount of trepidation and unease.
But I’ve never been one to back away (too quickly) from a battle or a challenge. Bring it on, Mr. King, and pay no attention to the nervous wiggle in my line. I’ll warm up to the idea of catching you just as soon as I hook into you, I’m sure.
My son assures me that I won’t be dragged downriver by a fish, “that’s what your drag’s for,” he says.
But just in case, if you’re down by the Barrier Dam and you hear a holler of “HELP!” from an older blonde gal hanging on to her Fenwick rod with a red reel, lend her a hand, will ya?
I also have a favor to ask you fishing gals out there — could you recommend a good pair of chest waders that would fit my small feet and rather generous, er, assets?
Drop me a line and let me know. The water is sure to turn cold soon and my knee high Boggs (with a hole in the side of one boot) and jeans just aren’t going to do the job for too much longer.
Happy hooking and tight lines!
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Kimberly Mason is a freelance writer who enjoys watching and photographing the wildlife in her own backyard in Cinebar. Visit her wildlife and outdoor encounters photography blog, The (Almost) Daily Bird, at http://blogs.chronline.com/dailybird. Contact her via email at kz@tds.net or call 269-5017 to share unusual wildlife observations, or to discuss upcoming events and topics you would like to see covered in The Chronicle Outdoors section.