National Fisherman

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...

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15

In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.

National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15

In this episode:

March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received

Inside the Industry

NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.

First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.

Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.

Read more...

Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.

Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.

Read more...
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