National Fisherman

Sunday, April 15, 2012 — After a season of quick turn-arounds, we were in super-dink-around mode on our April 15 delivery. Although we arrived in Seward on Sunday, we didn't get our fish off-loaded until the next morning, and didn't take ice until the morning of the 17th, after all our gear was baited.

Our final business at the RBS dock was to off-load our extra bait, as we had arranged to sell it to another boat. This was really good news to me, because it meant we would be only setting the gear we had baited, which was plenty of gear to catch our remaining quota. We left for fishing around 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 17.

We arrived at our halibut spot that evening, and set our single halibut clean-up string. We waited until first light on Wednesday, April 18, and hauled it aboard. Viola! We were done with our halibut quota!

Next we ran a bit to the blackcod spot, slapped out all of our gear in three strings, and waited to haul. We napped, but we weren't sleepy. I fed the crew, but we were just eating to keep occupied. We finally started hauling at 11 p.m., and after the uneventful hauling of three strings with good weather and moderate fishing, were done by noon the next day.

We bucked an easterly headwind the entire way across the Gulf of Alaska, but fortunately it was a very light wind for the first day and a half; it picked up a bit toward the end, but we never made less than 6 knots; so although it was a bit of a shitty ride, nobody was complaining.

We made it across quickly enough to make an afternoon delivery in Petersburg on April 22, which took 3 hours total. We stopped for fuel in Ketchikan, which took FIVE hours because we had to wait for them to open in the morning, but that's OK because there was a spectacular northern lights display that night in Grenville Channel.

We bucked through Seymour Narrows, slowing down to 1.5 knots at full running speed against the strong current. But once we were through the narrows, it was fair tide and, after a few hours of 15 knots of wind on our bow, smooth sailing the rest of the way home. We made it back to Port Townsend around 8 a.m. Thursday, April 26. After we off-loaded the gear and cleaned up the boat, we were done!


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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