National Fisherman

Mid-August 2007 — Just because my boat was in the water, it didn't mean it was ready to go fishing. In an effort to make my life easier when I'm cleaning and icing my fish for sale on the island, I had to get my hatches set up to hold slush-bags. I also wanted to paint my hatch covers so they clean up more easily.

After my big push to get the Satisfaction into the water in the first week after my return from Alaska, the support for boat work ran out. As my honey-do list grew, there was never any mention of the Satisfaction. So as we waited for a sockeye opening, the Satisfaction waited for me to get it ready. It waited three full weeks before I had a chance to get down and work on the hatches, and when I did, I picked the worst day of the summer to start a painting project.

The clouds were building in the morning as I cut and fit a couple bin-boards, but by noontime I knew I wasn't going to beat the rain. But since this was the only time I had to finish this project, I had to outsmart the rain. I rigged up a ridge-beam with my net hook, then grabbed a tarp and started laying it out. As I was fighting to unfold the tarp, I saw Wayde over on the net float, hanging his king net, laughing at me. At that point I realized how ridiculous it was to do my painting on the rainiest day of the summer.

The rain came down in sheets through a couple hours of heavy downpour. I was scurrying all over the boat like a chipmunk, tying it here and there and weighing it down with pipe wrenches and large crescents so it wouldn't pool up overhead. As I was painting away at a frenzied pace, Zack came by and commented how easy it is to clean the algae off the side of my boat when it is all soaked by the rain. He grabbed a brush and scrubbed a spot clean, then assigned me the task of cleaning all the rest of the boat to match. I responded by telling him I couldn't care less what my boat looked like, as long as it is ready to fish.

I was pretty impressed with my makeshift tarp; it really kept the deck dry and allowed me to get my painting job finished. It was by no means a clean job, but at least it was a finished job — all on the rainiest day of the summer.

The next day there was no rain, but the paint was still quite tacky, which was a bit of a hassle because I had to through-bolt the slush bag and brailer hooks in place to hold my fish-storage system together in the hatches. By the time I was finished, the palms of my hands were gray with undried paint, but my hatches were ready to handle as much slush-iced, top-quality fish I could throw in them.


Inside the Industry

The anti-mining group Salmon Beyond Borders expressed disappointment and dismay last week at Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s announcement that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

This came just days after his administration asked members of his newly-formed Transboundary Rivers Citizens Advisory Work Group to provide comment on a Draft Statement of Cooperation associated with Transboundary mining.


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.

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