Al Menin, a Bendix Corporation acoustics engineer and the Beluga Spooker's developer, insists that playing such ingenious tricks on the whales poses no threat to their survival. "The belugas will still take their fair share as the salmon sweep into Bristol Bay," he says, "but not enough to destroy commercial fishing." The question remains, however, whether lonely killer whales might not be attracted by the recorded squeals and clicks of their brethren. Killer whales are larger, hungrier and more aggressive salmon predators than belugas.
SONIC BOON II
Another state is looking at a different kind of electronic aid to fishermen, only in this case with an unfavorable eye. The Minnesota legislature is considering a bill to ban the use of graph-type depth and fish finders by sport fishermen. It is the contention of Representative Glen Sherwood, the measure's author, that such sonic devices have placed excessive pressure on Minnesota's fish population. He argues that fishermen should be encouraged to rely on skill rather than on sophisticated technology.
Real conservation measures are always welcome—this magazine has espoused many and initiated more than a few—but it is sometimes necessary to wince at the absurdities offered in the name of environmental protection. It is true that good fishermen tend to catch more fish with finders than without them. But it is also true that they use less gasoline in the process—that's conservation, too—and generally release more fish. Carry Representative Sherwood's theories about sportsmanship to their logical conclusion, and Minnesota might also ban outboard motors, downriggers, monofilament lines and other technological advances that help fishermen outwit fish. Sometimes.
If Minnesota is truly concerned about protecting fish, why not simply decrease the daily legal limits? Which is what other states have done.
IMMORTAL & IMMATERIAL
With its annual induction ceremonies next week in Springfield, Mass., the Basketball Hall of Fame obviously means to avoid the kind of sins regularly committed by the shrine of another sport, college football. Specifically, its trustees have studiously ignored Bill Russell's boycott of the induction proceedings and decided to go ahead and enshrine the ex-Celtic great anyway, albeit without the usual fanfare. In recognizing the sport's best performers, non-basketball considerations—including what Russell might think of such honors—have been deemed immaterial.
By contrast, The National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, as the Manhattan-based college football shrine styles itself, keeps succumbing to irrelevancies. Not all of its 341 inductees are of All-America caliber, and foundation officials have intimated that some were selected partly because they went on to enrich themselves in business. On the other hand, those failing to make it include such outstanding players as Charley Brickley, Paul Robeson, Jim Brown and Ernie Davis.
Explanations for the omissions vary. Brickley was a two-time All-America halfback at Harvard before World War I, but later was convicted of grand larceny. Robeson, a two-time All-America considered the greatest defensive end of football's early years, became a renowned actor and singer as well as an embattled figure for his espousal of Marxism. James McDowell, the shrine's executive director, says that both men were bypassed because of "unsatisfactory citizenship," adding, "We consider what players do in later life important."
Brown and Davis were All-Americas at Syracuse. Brown's 43 points against Colgate in 1956 is still a collegiate record, while Davis won the Heisman Trophy in 1961, dying of leukemia two years later. McDowell says that neither has even been nominated. He leaves the impression that both cases are oversights.