Unlike his own entry into the Bristol Bay driftnet fishery, Greg Anelon intends to pass the commercial fishing torch to his son, Matthew, in a no-holds-barred transfer of boat, permit and knowledge.
Greg, 56, started setnetting in the mud out at Naknek at 8 years old, and when he entered the driftnet fishery, he had to learn the basics from the ground up — in an open dory.
Since he acquired his 32-foot Shore aluminum boat, the Zoe Christina, he’s learned a lot and thinks it would be shame not to let Matthew in on his bag of tricks.
Greg, who lives in Newhalen on Iliamna Lake, bought the Zoe Christina in 1979.
“I had to learn the hydraulics and upkeep and maintenance. I didn’t even know you had to have it neutral to start it.”
When Matthew turned 8, he wanted to fish with his dad; so they embarked on what would become a summertime passion for Matthew, who is now 23. Two years ago, Greg transferred the drift permit to Matthew, and this year he transferred ownership of the boat.
“This year, I just turned the boat over to him.”
Though Greg will accompany Matthew this coming season to impart fatherly wisdom where he believes necessary, the eventual plan is for Matthew to gain a business partner.
If ex-vessel prices and the Naknek salmon runs hold up, Greg says he may acquire another permit, which would allow the father and son to fish more than 150 fathoms of gillnet from the boat.