photo taken at Sawtooth Fish Hatchery
While pedaling to lower Stanley, Idaho for an omelet, my eyes keep following the Salmon River. Right now, a majority of the Fish and Game salmon are returning to the fish hatchery. This is a remarkable feat because they float all the way to the big wide Pacific Ocean, and then for some reason, they decide to swim all the way back to where they are born in these large cement bathtubs.
A person can identify a fish hatchery salmon from a native salmon because the Fish and Game make sure to exclude the adipose fin from their salmon.
Cruising past the fish hatchery with my eyes still focused on the river, I see a bald eagle sitting on a post. We both happen to be looking at the same stretch of river. I feel bad for it because this week the Fish and Game have stopped stocking the Salmon River with rainbow trout for the season. I suppose itâ€™s time for the eagle to fly south where itâ€™s warm and where the rivers are stocked year round. Taking a closer look at the bald eagle, I notice it has all of its body parts. I donâ€™t think the eagle was hatched by the Fish and Game. I yell at the bird, â€œShoo, shoo, fly to Alabama where itâ€™s warm.â€
Our eyes meet, but I donâ€™t think the eagle understands. It remains sitting on the post. I suppose we are too different to connect. The eagle has mom and dad eagle parents; I have mom and dad human parents. With so many animals and fish bred in captivity, I bet test-tube babies can commune more naturally with nature, both being conceived in a similar sort of scientifically engineered environment. If I were a test-tube baby, I would want my animal spirit to be a Fish and Game hatched salmon. Like the fish hatchery salmon, when I have lived a full life, I will feel a tug on my heart and crawl to a rest home to die. Like the farm raised salmon in the grocery store, when I die, someone will come along and add some pink to my cheeks so that I may look presentable at my funeral.