Onthe Waterfront

Published on Thu, Oct 5, 2006 by Jan Hrutfiord

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On the Waterfront

By Jan Hrutfiord

October is here, and with it, commercial crab fishers are out fishing for dungeness crab.

They dropped their pots on Sunday, October 1 and now will be going back and forth from the docks checking the pots for crab, rebaiting when necessary, and hope for a good catch.

We wish them a safe and profitable season, which traditionally goes from October 1 to April 15, depending upon the total catch numbers.

Usually, the first month is the best and then the numbers of crab fall way off, sending many fishers on to different areas and different fisheries where they can earn a better living.

Those that stay the entire season are the locals, who don’t have to go far to get out and crab. Right now there are fishers here from all over Puget Sound, as well as the Washington coastal towns.

The migratory ducks are here again. Large flocks of ducks congregate on the tideflats and along the shoreline, especially close to Cain Creek outlet, just across the railroad tracks on Marine Drive.

With the road all torn up this year, it isn’t as easy to get down to Marine Park and out to the end of the pier on Marine Drive, but it’s worth it to see the large numbers of sea birds that are here now.

There will be more birds as the season goes along, as these ducks and geese are looking for a safe haven to stay during winter’s cold and stormy days until spring comes to send them back to the far north breeding grounds where they summer and raise their young. Bring your binoculars, and enjoy the day!

Other places to go to see the migratory birds is any place you can get out along the shoreline of Drayton Harbor, including Semiahmoo Spit, and along Birch Bay.

Our area is one of the top birding areas in Washington, and we are really lucky to have the opportunity to see so many different types of sea birds.

Remember to stay far enough back that you don’t disturb them while they are feeding and resting up for their long journey next spring. And please, no dogs! Keep dogs off the beaches when the birds are there. (Ditto anyone who may think it is smart to chase the ducks.)

The Harbor Cafe building is no more – it was demolished a couple weeks ago, and the space it occupied is now a parking lot. It will never be the same down here, a lot of people came from long distances to eat at “the Harb,” as well as many fishers congregated there for their morning coffee and story telling.

It was a tradition that is no more, and I, for one, am sad to see it gone.