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.

Early August 2006 — I swore I wasn't going to fish the Salmon Banks off of San Juan Island, Wash., this summer.

I had way too much stuff to do in my life that wasn't related to fishing, and I know that if things really need to get done shoreside, sometimes a fishery might have to be skipped altogether. My plan would enable me to get way ahead of a ton of projects I had been neglecting, but there was one aspect I did not factor into the equation: I am addicted to fishing.

I was back for less than a week before I determined the most important thing for me to do with my time was to dash off to La Conner, Wash., and get my Puget Sound gillnetter, the Satisfaction, ready to go fishing.

I drove my truck over to La Conner, and I didn't even leave a way to get it back to San Juan Island. I went right to work on the out-of-the-water projects. I installed a new transducer for the upstairs depth sounder, changed the zincs, and touched up the bottom paint.

To keep my bunk dry I changed out my leaky porthole so I wouldn't have to live with a wet sleeping bag all season long again. To keep the bilge dry, I installed a new float switch in the engine room bilge.

It took just a day to get her seaworthy and in the water, heading back to Friday Harbor. Of course the boat was still in disarray, and I figured all the smaller, non-essential projects could be fit in any time I have a spare second when I'm on the boat.

With all my traveling back and forth, leaving my truck in La Conner, getting the net loaded onto the boat, and taking extra time to get her ship-shape, I had devoted a solid three days to the get-the-boat-ready project. Right away there was an opening, which was the reason I was doing all this nonsense, and that slurped up a couple more days.

Before I knew it, a week had vaporized. This would normally be just fine, but I was supposed to be starting work on the addition to our house, and my office was so backed up on paperwork it wasn't even funny. People were calling me asking where I was and what had happened to me, befuddled at my disappearance and my neglect for the commitments I had made.

And these relatively unimportant people in my life were the least of my concerns; I had also neglected my wife in the same manner. She deserves better, I know. She understands what fishing is about, and I believe she understands better than I, my addiction to fishing.

So with the notion of taking the summer off, I was once again geared up and ready to embark on another gillnet season in the sunny San Juan Islands.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Read more ...

The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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