Opponents of the potentially environmentally devastating Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region will benefit from an Abel Super 5N trout reel, announced Jeff Patterson, director of sales for the fishing tackle manufacturer.
Abel will produce a limited edition – numbered 1 to 100 – of the engraved reels in a specially anodized red color, symbolic of both the area’s sockeye or red salmon and the “No Pebble Mine” campaign, whose conduit to the fly fishing industry has been the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska.
The Sportsman’s Alliance will be given Reel #1 for sale, raffle or auction and $200 per reel on all others sold, Patterson said.
Total value of Abel’s contributions is expected to be in excess of $20,000.
A Canadian-British partnership is seeking permits to build the massive Pebble Mine complex northwest of Lake Iliamna. The Bristol Bay region is home to the largest runs of wild salmon on the planet and is also a sportfishing Mecca, drawing anglers from across the globe.
“If these permits are granted, mining companies could possibly drain critical Bristol Bay drainage salmon rivers and trophy trout streams and destroy valuable habitat. The development activity and infrastructure required for such a massive proposal would undoubtedly have detrimental effects on both fish and game resources,” said Scott J. Hed, director of the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska.
The proposed Pebble Mine would include the largest dam in the world – larger than the Three Gorges Dam in China – made of earth not concrete, to hold back the toxic waste created in the mining process. Areas in the region which could be impacted include the Mulchatna / Nushagak River drainage and the Newhalen / Kvichak River drainage, both of which feed into Bristol Bay.
Operation of the mine would require a vast majority of the water from Upper Talarik Creek and the North and South Fork Koktuli headwaters plus much of the ground waters that feed these waterways in order get the 70 million gallons of water needed each day, according to Hed.
The Bristol Bay salmon fishery generates an estimated $332 million per year; with sport fishing contributing $61 million to that total. All of this is placed at risk if plans for mining in the region move forward.
The project developer’s plans call for dams to be built to hold back a toxic lake of mining tailings. In an area where earthquakes are not an infrequent occurrence, one dam would be 4.3 miles long and higher than Seattle’s Space Needle. Another proposed dam is 2.9 miles long and 700 feet high. More than 10 square miles of habitat would be destroyed. The open pit gold-copper-molybdenum mine itself would be two miles in diameter and nearly one-third mile deep.
The California reel maker’s $20,000 contribution to the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska has been designated for brochures and other informational materials, travel for staff and volunteers to make Bristol Bay conservation presentations to clubs and organizations, day-to-day expenses and other direct costs. Fly-fishers and collectors purchasing a reel may also contribute additional dollars to the conservation effort which will be forwarded by Abel to the non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
“The very serious threats and challenges facing Bristol Bay make this truly one of the most important fishery conservation battles in the world. Abel’s generosity along with the company’s desire to assist in the campaign will allow our growing ranks of diverse interests to continue to raise awareness of this critical issue,” said Hed.
Abel’s Super 5N is designed for a 5- or 6-weight line. The 5.7 ounce reel is fitted with Abel’s pure cork disc drag system, is fully anodized and finished for both fresh and saltwater use.
The reel weighs 5.7 ounces with a diameter of 3.50 inches, and width of .750 inches. Backing capacities are 125 yards of 20# with a 5-weight forward line; and 100 yards of 20# with a 6-weight forward.
The collectors’ edition Bristol Bay trout Abel reel to benefit the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska is priced at $775. It is available directly from the factory or through authorized Abel Dealers.
Phone toll-free (866) 511 7444, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.abelreels.com