Onthe Waterfront

Published on Thu, Nov 10, 2005 by an Hrutfiord

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On the Waterfront

By Jan Hrutfiord

The combination of fall winds and few crab have been keeping fishermen in port more than they would like to be. Crab fishing is finished for most of those who started commercial crabbing the first of October.

The rest will be checking their pots every two or three days due to the small catch now. Salmon fishing is continuing in south Puget Sound for Chums. This fishery should continue for another week or so. The Bering Sea fishers are home for the rest of the year, but the season starts again in midJanuary. This is the quiet time of year for most fishermen, time to get the boat and gear ready for another season, take a vacation with the family, and plan for the next season’s fishing.

I was told that the flounder haven’t been fished here in local waters for several years due to lack of a market, and there’s a good quantity of some very large flounder out there. They make wonderful fish and chips — very flavorful! I would love to see our local flounder available for sale, it’s certainly a fish I’d buy! If you want this fish, let your favorite fisherman know. (Or fish buyer or restaurant.)

There are a few local draggers who used to catch flounder on a regular basis until the market for them disappeared. We are the market! There would be no fishing if nobody bought the fish. Support your local fishers, and do yourself a favor with flavorful, healthful fresh fish for dinner.

The Blaine Community Oyster Farm is harvesting small oysters, which they are hoping to sell at the dock on weekends. These are yearling size oysters, perfect for appetizers. The department of health closes down oyster harvesting for five days if there is more than half an inch of rain in a day. With our heavy rains, they have been shut down with six rain closures totaling 23 closed days from September 29 through November 5. In spite of this they have shipped jumbo oysters twice to China and we are selling yearling oysters to the Willows Inn on Lummi Island and to Vis Seafoods in Bellingham. Unfortunately, due to Saturday’s rainfall they are now closed through Friday morning (November 11).

According to Geoff Menzies, director of the oyster farm, they now have to cancel two scheduled shipments to China this week and postpone other local shipments. “If we do not get any more half-inch rains before Friday, we plan to sell small yearling oysters on the dock at Gate 3 on Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon. Look for a notice in The Northern Light. The rain is killing us but everyone who has tasted these yearling oysters raves about them. So if we get an opening, make sure to come down and get your share. Proceeds from oyster sales are reinvested in pollution control projects of Drayton Harbor.” If you love oysters, and we don’t get more heavy rains, Gate 3 on Saturday from 9 to noon is the place to go.

A new business here at the harbor is a consignment store for children’s clothing, furniture, and maternity wear, in the small blue-roofed building which used to house the Visitors Information Center. Also, the new Northern Light building is taking shape, this is the first half of the planned three-story building.

Have you noticed the large flocks of ducks that are here now? Pick a good day to take a walk around Marine Park, watch the birds, check out the Seafarers Memorial building, look at all the beautiful boats in the harbor. This is a good way to keep track of developments down here. Hope to see you soon!