Onthe Waterfront

Published on Thu, Jul 21, 2005 by an Hrutfiord

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On the Waterfront

By Jan Hrutfiord

This is probably the busiest time of the year for the local fishing fleet.

The salmon fishers from Bristol Bay are coming back home after a fairly good season out of Naknek, and a so-so season out of Egegik. There has been a huge pink run in southeast Alaska and fishers were allowed to dump carcasses after pulling the roe since canneries couldn’t handle the large volume of fish.

Closer to home, the draggers fishing offshore in Washington waters continue to bring in bottom fish to Blaine and Bellingham fish processors, and the local Puget Sound fishers continue to fish day trips bringing in their catch to the same processors.

The salmon fleet is small. One fisher informed me there are only four local seiners this year ready to fish out of Blaine, as well as local gillnetters who will also be fishing here. They are waiting for the salmon to come in which hopefully will be soon. With the warm weather and warm waters, there is always the possibility that the Fraser River sockeye will go north around Vancouver Island instead of coming in through the strait to Puget Sound waters. If this happens, the fishing will be slim pickings! Time will tell.

The Blaine oyster growers have been harvesting the local oysters that were planted a few years ago in the community oyster farm, and have had several sales of oysters on the Blaine docks. Watch for signs telling of future sales. I have heard that they will be re-seeding the oyster beds soon for future harvests.

Local crabbers have been fishing in Skagit Bay for the last month, with large numbers of good crab being caught. I haven’t heard when the crabbing will open in our area yet. Traditionally it is mid-July, but didn’t open until mid-August last year due to soft shelled crab.
Watch for the crab pots to start stacking up on Blaine’s docks, an indication that crabbing is about to begin.

A sure sign of summer is the Plover chugging away between Blaine docks and Semiahmoo. They have a new dock this year on the Semiahmoo side, on the east side of the old cannery building behind the Resort at Semiahmoo. The Plover runs Friday through Sunday, leaving Blaine on the hour and Semiahmoo on the half hour. A fun way to entertain your family and guests, the Plover makes a sight seeing trip out of the event, taking in the Semiahmoo docks with seals lined up on display, and other local points of interest.

The museum at the base of Semiahmoo spit in the county park is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., and has some new displays. This museum has been very popular so far this year, with more and more tourists discovering the displays on local fishing from the last century. If you are interested in helping out at the museum, ask the person at the desk for information on how you can help.

Many local fishers were saddened to learn of the death of long time fisher Captain Richard Parker, who died in his home town of Tyler, Texas earlier this month.

Richard was captain of the local dragger Rosella, which fished out of Kodiak and Dutch Harbor under his watch for over 26 years. He called Blaine his other home port while running the Rosella, and made many friends here. We shall miss you, Richard.

et out and enjoy the summer weather. See you at Marine Park, there have been wonderful musical programs there this summer through the Summer Jazz Festival, as well as weddings, picnics, lots of ways to use our beautiful local park. Hope to see you there.