Onthe Waterfront

Published on Thu, Sep 8, 2005 by an Hrutfiord

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On the Waterfront

By Jan Hrutfiord

It has finally been busy at the harbor this last week. There was a salmon opening for gillnetters and Treaty Indians, and then another opening for seiners, reefnetters and gillnetters, to catch sockeye salmon. This is also a “pink” year – pink or humpback salmon run every other year, and this is their year. The reports I’ve gotten are that the catch last week was about 60 percent pinks to 40 percent sockeye. Due to the complete closure of the Fraser River sockeye non-native fishery in Canada, this may have been the only opening this year for non-treaty fishers for sockeye here in northern U.S. waters. There should be more openings for pinks as the month goes along.

There is a one day a week opening for fishing kings in Bellingham Bay, so many of our Blaine boats were taking advantage of that fishery, too.
Tribal crab fishers had a 24-hour opening last Wednesday and Thursday, with pretty good results for their fishing. They have a quota of 400,000 pounds of crab to be caught before the general commercial opening of October 1, when all will be able to fish again. Depending upon the catch numbers, this may be their only opening before October 1.

Several Blaine boats that were fishing for salmon in Alaska have returned to Blaine harbor this week – it’s good to see them home, hope the season was successful, and that they can go on to other fishing ventures soon.

I got word last month from the new owner of the Dakota – which was donated to the Pacific Marine Foundation by the Westman family early this year. It has been sold to a gentleman from Sechelt, B.C. He contacted me through The Northern Light, with plans for making the boat into a tourist attraction, dive boat platform, etc., with eventual plans to convert it into a live-aboard boat for himself and his wife. It seems the old Dakota has found a good new home, we are happy to hear about it, and maybe someday will be able to visit the Dakota again. If any of you go visit her, let me know!