National Fisherman


Boats & Gear 

Michael CrowleyThe Boats & Gear blog is overseen by our Boats & Gear editor, Michael Crowley. It explores new construction projects, electronics, gear and equipment for the commercial fishing industry.

Dennis Payne’s eyes welled up and a flush spread over his face. He couldn’t believe what had just happened.

For three days — Nov. 27 to Nov. 29 — the ZF Beer Garden has been open the last hour of Seattle’s Pacific Marine Expo — free beer for anyone who enters and a ticket with a number on it. You win a pair of tickets to the Dec. 9 Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinal football game if your ticket stub’s number matches that of a ticket pulled from a pile of well over 100 other tickets.

BeerGardenPayneBrosIt’s the last day of the show when just before 5 p.m. the winning ticket is drawn and the number called out. Silence. Then at a table up near the Beer Garden’s entrance, an older bearded fellow quietly asks a younger guy to read the number on his ticket — just to be sure.

The guy confirms that Payne, who is at the show with his brother Allen, has the winning ticket. Payne is near tears with disbelief because a year ago, his third brother, Paul, also won the drawing.

Dennis Payne (left), raffle winner, and his brother Allen Payne.

Since then, Paul died of a heart attack, and though the Payne brothers enjoy the Expo, Dennis wasn’t going to come this year. The only reason he came to the show is because Paul’s wife told him, “Paul would have wanted you to come.”

“I can’t believe it. I’m still in shock,” he says.

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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