Topics: Commercial fishing and shellfishing

The days are long now and if the tide is right, shellfishermen can head out to the flats of Monomoy, spend hours harvesting and return to shore with their limit as the sun sets and turns the horizon pink and purple. But then they would lose $500 and all their hard work, because the wholesale companies they sell to close hours before the sun goes down, and shellfishermen can’t keep their product overnight – not...

Shellfish Nursery Is Fattening The Clams In Herring River

By: William F. Galvin

WEST HARWICH — The former fishhouse on the Herring River is filled with happy clams. With legal and regulatory issues related to the reconstruction of the former Lucas fishhouse at the edge of the river settled, Aquacultural Research Corporation of Dennis is now using the building to nurture seed quahogs in an effort to meet the increasing demand for shellfish by aquaculturalists. “The quahogs are happy and...

CHATHAM — Dozens of fishermen and other citizens spoke out at a public hearing Tuesday night to share a single message with regulators: large herring trawlers need to keep their distance from the Cape, to give key fish stocks – and the people who harvest them – a shot at survival. The large meeting room at the community center was filled to capacity for the hearing, held by the New England Fishery Management...

Good Numbers Reported For Harwich Herring

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The herring migration got off to a late start this year in the Herring River, but in recent weeks it has proven to be strong. More than 800,000 fish have passed through the electronic fish counter in the ladder at Johnson's flume in West Harwich. Early April is traditionally when the anadromous fish begin their migration from ocean waters to headwater ponds to spawn. But there was little movement at ...

Herring Hearing Happening June 19

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The New England Fishery Management Council is holding a rare public hearing in Chatham next week to consider rules designed to protect one of the most important fish species in our waters: Atlantic herring. The council is mulling a host of options designed to protect sea herring from overfishing by mid-water trawlers, which can scoop up entire schools in a single haul. While local boats do not take...

CHATHAM – It was a day of remembering and celebrating as members of local fishing families and those who support them gathered at the Chatham Fish Pier for the annual Blessing of the Fleet.     With the warm sun shining down, the Rev. Brian McGurk of St. Christopher's Church and Karen Murdoch of Women of Fishing Families (WOFF) offered prayers and thoughtful sentiments at the soulful gathering, hel...

CHATHAM – When Mac and Alex Hay opened their seafood company in Wellfleet in 1995, Mac drove to Chatham every day to buy freshly landed fish from Chatham Fish and Lobster. As it expanded to include several restaurants and seafood markets on the Outer Cape, Mac's Seafood continued to source much of its product from the Chatham company. Now, 23 years later, the Wellfleet Harbor Seafood Company, which owns the Ma...

CHATHAM — With sand choking the main inlet to Chatham Harbor across from the lighthouse, most of the commercial fishing fleet is now using the north inlet by Minister's Point to access the Atlantic. But the narrow channel there needs to be widened, and fishermen are hoping that state and federal dredging restrictions don’t leave them high and dry for the 2018 season. Except at peak high tide, the Chatham Bar...

CHATHAM – After nearly two years of work, consolidated waterways regulations were approved last week by the waterways advisory committee. The final draft will now go back to the board of selectmen before being adopted by the harbormaster. A theme that emerged from the committee's hearing on the draft last Thursday was the need to take a look at the waterways bylaw, the override authority under which the new re...

Fisherman Mike Russo examined a decades-old clamming rake he had brought from the garage into the kitchen. His soot-colored cat George sniffed it warily. “I paid a lot of bills with that sum’ bitch,” he said with a grin. Russo said the first rake he bought, he tore the teeth right off when he went quahogging. Ron Ribb took one look at that rake, then at burly Russo, and said he’d fix the problem. He built a...

What's An Upweller?

By: Tim Wood

Constable Gives Primer On Shellfish Grow-out System by Tim Wood CHATHAM – A recent proposal to construct a new shellfish upweller on Stage Harbor raised an important question: Just what is an upweller? “I had folks who came up or called and wanted to know what's an upweller,” said Selectman Jeffrey Dykens. “Some of my mother's friends were saying 'What the heck's an upweller?'” At Dykens' request, ...

CHATHAM — Addressing concerns that the deteriorating observation deck at the fish pier might collapse under the weight of summer visitors, selectmen Tuesday approved a conceptual plan to rebuild the structure with one that is stronger, more durable, and handicap-accessible. The plan, prepared by Marion-based CLE Engineering, calls for a $1.2 million deck that is self-supporting, rather than supported by the ...

CHATHAM — When it comes to boosting numbers of commercially important fish species – and helping the small-boat fishery that relies on them – the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance is proposing a “no-fish zone” on the backside of the Cape designed to keep herring trawlers out. If it's implemented, the conservation measure could also benefit whales, seabirds and other species that feed on Atlantic herring....

HARWICH PORT — The Wychmere Harbor Shellfish Lab is home to hundreds of thousands of growing soft shell clams, oysters, quahogs and mussels. Every summer since 1994, Assistant Harbormaster and National Resources Director Heinz Proft has hired three high school student interns to help run the lab for six weeks. This year’s interns are Kestrel Powers, Samantha Mahoney and Aidan Kotoski. From 8:30 in the morning u...

More than a postcard backdrop, the Cape's working waterfront is an economic engine. And it deserves continued financial support from the state, said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who is also the chairman of the state's Seaport Economic Council, which is making sizable investments in the shorefront infrastructure in Chatham and Harwich. Polito visited Old Mill Boat Yard in Chatham and Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Por...

Polito: Waterfront Investments Boost Economy

By: Alan Pollock

More than a postcard backdrop, the Cape's working waterfront is an economic engine. And it deserves continued financial support from the state, said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, who is also the chairman of the state's Seaport Economic Council, which is making sizable investments in the shorefront infrastructure in Chatham and Harwich. Polito visited Old Mill Boat Yard in Chatham and Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich Por...