SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Herring fisheries
By Robert McRoberts


December 07, 2010
Tuesday AM

Over the years some very good letters have been written on this site -- such as why we should oppose this type of fishery, or some about certain areas. When Kah Shakes fishery first started I was a young boy working for my brother in-law Frank Jaynes. he was trying to keep diversification in his fishing to keep money coming in throughout the year. We would also pack herring on his boat the Patty Lynn.

As we sat down there some times for a week, I would wonder why we would screw up the ecosystem that they were teaching me about in Marine biology at Ketchikan High School at the same time for just the eggs. Yes I would get out of school to go fishing. We had a small plywood skiff 24 ft long, 8 foot wide 2 foot side board. We would set our nets when they said go. The first year it was quiet mellow - every one got along. We would then turn our boats side ways to our nets and begin pulling our nets over the sides shaking the section between the sides -- all the fish would fall in the boat and we would go on and on until we could not hold no more and run to the tender to suck out our load and hurry back to get the rest of our net's catch. And it was amassing, we never went down -- remember it was a plywood skiff.

The first year we were all pretty much the same but soon the rich San Francisco boys showed up with shaker's bow pickers and so on-- it put some of the local guys to shame that had built these big aluminum barges with shakers on them to shame. Soon they were setting over our nets cutting them in half. It was getting to get crazy. I remember gun fire a few times. The greed. I didn't get to go to Sitka because I would miss too much school so i don't know what that was like. I heard good stories though. But that fisheries just took off and it was a big money thing -- then it looked good for the $$$$$ and if it's big money then our government wants to boast it as a state industry even knowing it's harming our other fisheries by there not being food for other fish. I remember it didn't matter much were you went, you caught fish.

It's not that way any more. Wow! Might there be a connection? I feel this fishery is as bad as round log exportation and needs to end.

Thinking about the future we did not see the impact. It's not as plentiful as it ever was.

I have eaten many of the eggs in the heat of all out insane fishing. Why ruin other fishery to keep the rich greedy fools in their caviar? It tastes like fish eggs to me. I like Halibut.

I learned to fish salmon, halibut, herring and how to run fishing boats at the age of 13. I also helped design and build a 32 foot boat at Ketchikan Welding and later ran it seining south east one season before becoming a heavy equipment operator building logging roads.

I have some knowledge of what I say -- and I say stop robbing food from our fish.

Robert McRoberts
Ketchikan, AK


Received December 06, 2010 - Published December 07, 2010



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