On the water

Published on Thu, May 29, 2003 by Jan Hrutfiord

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On the water

By Jan Hrutfiord

Local fishing has come to a stop in most instances, with a few draggers still fishing in Puget Sound waters. The Alaska Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska boats are shut down waiting for the next season, which is scheduled to start June 29. Several of these large boats, the Miss Leona, Tracey Ann, and Rosella, are now here in our harbor for repairs and/or summer fishing off the Washington coast. It is good to see these big draggers again, and we hope that they will soon be out fishing.

Many of our local fishers are getting ready to fly up to Bristol Bay for the summer salmon fishing in that area. The sockeye season in Bristol Bay goes from mid-June until the third week or so of July, with silvers coming later in July. This fishery is not for the faint-hearted, but is one that many fishers look forward to every year. Many of the canneries have been closed in the traditional areas, as the salmon runs have gotten much smaller the last few years. However, there are still canneries in Naknek, Igigik, Ugashik, and other exotic sounding towns, most of which are little more than the canneries and a few small native villages. The fishers use gillnets for this fishery.

Blaine Marine Services has expanded to include a new business on the Semiahmoo side, where they are situated beside the Semiahmoo Marina. They have kayak rentals as well as necessities for the boats which are in Semiahmoo. We wish them well on this new venture.

The Plover started its summer season over the Memorial Day weekend, and will continue to give ferry rides on Friday, Saturday and Sundays through Labor Day weekend. If you haven�t ridden this popular historic boat, take the time to do so this summer. It leaves Blaine from the harbor office gateway on the hour, and returns from Semiahmoo on the half hour. It usually has time to do a sight-seeing trip on the return trip to Blaine.

Another popular historical visiting site is the museum at Semiahmoo Park, which is also open Friday, Saturday and Sundays from noon � 4 p.m. through Labor Day weekend. This museum is staffed by volunteers, and has a lot of information on the Alaska Packers salmon cannery, as well as local sea birds. You can take your bike onto the Plover, go on to the museum, and come back later to ride the Plover back to the Blaine side. Or if you are a walker, it�s about 3/4 mile from the Semiahmoo dock to the museum.

Our local fishing community has lost two more members: Dick Markusen was raised in Blaine, and was a life-long fisherman. He died a week ago, and was buried at Green Acres cemetery. He is survived by a son and two daughters as well as many grandchildren.

Bud Dodd was also a lifelong Blaine man, who owned and operated Blaine Marina. He bought fish from many of the local fishing fleets, as well as supplied fuel and fishing gear for the many boats in our harbor. He was an active volunteer in many city positions, including mayor of Blaine. He is survived by his wife Aleta Jane, and sons Mike and Steve, who are now running Blaine Marina. His funeral was held on Wednesday, May 28.

Our sympathy and condolences to the families of both these men. The fishing community is like a large family, and these were two long-time members.