Former, 39th U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrived in Russia again for fishing. This time, 89-year-old Carter arrived in the Murmansk region in the north of Russia to catch salmon on the Kola Peninsula, on a tributary of the Ponoi - the Ryaboga River, local portal Bloger51 reports.
According to the website, Carter, on board a private plane, landed at the airport of Murmansk in the morning of July 5. Along with Carter, there were ten people on board. Immediately after passing the border control, the Americans were flown by helicopter to the tourist camp on the Ryaboga River.
Later, a Russian Foreign Ministry representative in Murmansk confirmed information about Carter's visit to ITAR-TASS. On July 12th, Carter will fly back, the source added. According to the agency, Carter, his wife, friends and accompanying persons were flown to fishing camp "Ryaboga" by helicopter.
Roman Savitsky, the general director of ZAO Reka Ponoi that operates fishing camps on the Ponoi refused to comment on the details or program of former President Carter, but shared general information on the fishing that takes place on Ponoi. According to him, experienced fishermen catch up to ten large fish a day in the river. The weight of the biggest salmon exceeds 13 kg. Kola Peninsula rivers still have very healthy populations of Atlantic salmon which attracts anglers from all over the world. In many other countries, like the UK, Canada and Norway, Atlantic salmon stocks are in depressed condition due to pollution, netting and overfishing. Ponoi is one of the most prolific Atlantic salmon rivers in the world, where an angler can expect to catch 30-35 fish during a week. Lower section of Ponoi that is controlled by ZAO Reka Ponoi is fly-fishing catch-and-release only.
On October 1st, Jimmy Carter is turning 90. He hopes to catch big fish in Russia, although he does not intend to take the trophy home: the ex-president is a champion of humane "catch-and-release" fishing.
On the banks of the Ponoi River, there are many tourist centers that enjoy popularity with foreigners. A week tour costs 7-12 thousand dollars, FlashNord says. The Kola Peninsula is the only place in the world where wild salmon still spawns, SeverPost.ru reports.
During Carter's presidency, the world was on the brink of a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. This is not the first time when the 39th president of the United States comes to Russia for fishing. In 2012, he came to catch Pacific salmon in Kamchatka. Eight years earlier, Carter flew to Kamchatka as well, when he, his wife and two close friends took a rafting trip on the Zhupanova River, abundant with salmon, rainbow trout, coho salmon and other fish. Reportedly, Carter managed to catch a large rainbow trout that was 63 cm long.
In connection with the current visit, many bloggers recollect the famous story about Jimmy Carter and the killer rabbit that happened to the then-U.S. president in the spring of 1979, as he was fishing in his hometown of Plains, Georgia. On April 20, Carter went fishing on a boat alone. Having returned to his headquarters, he said that a rabbit being chased by hounds "jumped in the water and swam toward my boat. When he got almost there, I splashed some water with a paddle."
Soon afterwards, The Washington Post published an editorial titled "The President Attacked by Rabbit" with a caricature poster of the movie "Jaws" labeled as "Paws." In the interpretation of Carter's critics, the incident was a metaphor for his weak policies and symbolic devastating defeat by Ronald Reagan in the election of 1980.