National Fisherman


MUSKEGON (AP) — For a fourth generation Lake Michigan commercial fisherman trying to establish a fresh-fish retail and wholesale business in Muskegon, the 18-hour days are brutal.

During fishing season, Eric Petersen might start the day by getting up at 3:30 a.m. to head off to the Petersen Fisheries boats on Muskegon Lake. He will fish with uncles Alan and Chris and cousin Joel. His father, Bill is still part of the family business but not out on the water as much, according to The Muskegon Chronicle.

The Petersens will commercially fish for Lake Michigan whitefish with live trap nets off the coast of Muskegon from Mount Garfield Road to the south to Duck Lake to the north. They will cast the huge nets out up to five miles but usually fish in 50-60 feet of water, Eric said. The company will put out a dozen nets it must tend, bringing in thousands of pounds of fish each day.

The Petersens will go out four or five days a week, weather-depending from early spring through late fall. The Muskegon commercial fleet is unable to enter Lake Michigan when Muskegon Lake is frozen over during the winter months.

On fishing days, Eric will return to the dock about noon and begin to clean the day's catch for delivery to Chicago and other brokers.

By mid-afternoon, he'll take the portion of the catch he purchases from the family business for the Fish Monger's Wife, a farmers market-turned-retail outlet in Norton Shores. He will process for the Fish Monger's Wife until early evening. Eric goes home and early the next morning does it all over again.

"This is what I am going to do," he says quietly about the fishing business he learned from going out on Lake Michigan with his father and uncles since he was 8 years old. After graduating from Muskegon High School in 1994, it was off to the family commercial fishing boat.

Read the full story at the Record-Eagle>>

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.

Read more...

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.

Read more...
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