The Empire's recent picture of dungeness crab being caught by commercial operators has now impacted my household.
I have been fishing crab for more than 20 years in my 14-foot skiff and most recently in my newer aluminum boat. I have had to travel farther and farther (now more than five miles to set my three pots) and use galvanic timed releases to deter crab theft.
Now, this season my favorite cove (which you can just about throw a rock across), was overwhelmed by a commercial boat from Petersburg with 15 commercial pots. My last crab catch was seven keepers - and I used three gallons of gas.
The Department of Fish and Game says to complain to the Board of Fish. They meet in January every year. Oh, by the way, the deadline for complaints and appeals is in April! So, I guess it's a two-year deal if anything can be done.
It's too bad fish and game, with all its staff and stats, isn't more pro-active. Or maybe it should be that the Board of Fish should be more pro-active.
The part that really miffs me is when the fish and game guy in Juneau said it wouldn't matter if there were a million pots in the Northern Lynn Canal, the Board of Fish has regulatory power to limit the commercial guys.
Well, I guess I had better savor what is left. From the way it's going, there'll be no more dungeness in Haines, just like the king salmon fishing was decimated here, and the king crab in Juneau, and the shrimp in Taiya Inlet. I guess that's what we should expect, being the last ones on the totem (Lynn Canal).
The commercial decimation continues in Icy Straits, Excursion Inlet and the like. Before fish and game has nothing left to manage, maybe we should put it in charge of the mosquitoes! Cheers!
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