On the Waterfront
By Jan Hrutfiord
Salmon fishing for Fraser River Sockeye salmon began last week, with two days of fishing for Treaty Indian fishers and two days for all-citizen fishers. The first week was fairly slow, but it was good to be able to be out trying to catch some fish. The prognosis is for a larger than normal amount of Fraser River sockeye to arrive in local waters this year, and those who are still fishing look forward to bringing in some of these beautiful fish.
This week the non-Indian fishers were to fish on Monday and Tuesday, with Treaty fishers going out later in the week. There are only about four seiners from Blaine still fishing locally, and a few more gillnetters fishing from Blaine. They are joined by several other seiners and gillnetters from Bellingham, Everett and points in between. The large seiners mostly sell their fish to local fish buyers at the harbor, while many of the gillnetters have turned to selling their fish to individual buyers. Look for signs for fresh salmon at the dock.
Sport crab fishing started August 16, with fishing allowed Wednesday through Saturday of each week until late in September, when there will be an evaluation of the amount of crab caught by sport fishers.
Commercial fishing starts for non-Indian fishers October first. There could be Treaty Indian crab fishing in August and/or September, usually for a day or two at a time. The docks should start to be busy, and parking lots filled with the trucks and older cars used for dock cars. This year, with Marine Drive torn up, parking may be at a premium.
If you go down to the docks to watch the unloading of commercial boats, be sure to stay off the unloading dock, and watch out for forklifts and semi trailer vans. Unless the fishing is terrible, the boats will probably be coming in late in the day, and unloading can go on into the night for both salmon and crab. It is interesting to watch, with lots of activity, noise, and lights. Just be careful and stay safe.