National Fisherman

At Sea Diary

Matt MarinkovichMatt Marinkovich’s weekly At Sea Diary entry is a popular feature of the National Fisherman Web site, and now you can post your own reflections on Matt’s experiences fishing in the Pacific Northwest and North Pacific.

August 21 to September 11, 2011 — I took a few weeks off of fishing after the August 21 king opening because I had to attend to a boat project that I had been putting off. I needed to re-do the engine mount on my 18-foot open skiff, the Lady Ruth, so I opted to do a backyard hull extension with fiberglass and polyester resin. The guys at the Petrzelka Brothers' boatyard in Mount Vernon, Wash., were willing to fabricate an aluminum extension/engine mount, but I didn't want to pay the price. I figured I could do it myself on the cheap.

So I hired a very competent glassman off Craigslist, bought a whole bunch of material, and went to work on the Lady Ruth. To make a long story short, I would have been money ahead to have the guys at Petrzelka Brothers do it. I missed three openings where I could have made a few bucks, not to mention the entire pink salmon season around the island. And I missed those nice fishing opportunities because I was neck-deep in fiberglass laminations, all gooped up with a gas mask strapped to my face, working long hours and cursing my decision to save a few bucks — in the long run I'm certain it cost me more to do it myself.

My goal was to make the silver opening on September 4, and I almost did, but it would have been total chaos in unorganized confusion. Instead I took my time tying up the loose ends of the boat, and made the September 11 opening — in which there were no fish.

You live and learn.


Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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