Category Archives: Inland Fisheries

More Fishing Tugs 7

This road trip was partly about seeing more fish tugs, the focus of the next few posts. One of the current hubs of fishing tugs still fishing is the Bayfield Peninsula, jutting out of northern Wisconsin into Lake Superior. Bayfield still had chunk ice in the harbor on May 9! Let’s start out at Bodin Fisheries, and the docks there. Photo’s, >click to read<14:36

Jacksons Fisheries closes after three generations

Joe Jackson has been out on the boat fishing for the family business since he was 18-years-old, running the G.W. Jackson vessel, built by his grandfather George in 1963. After 32 years in the labour intensive industry of commercial fishing, Joe has decided to step away from Jackson Fisheries. His wife Tammy, who ran Jacksons Fish Market for 13 years, has also stepped away as potential buyers haven’t shown interest in keeping the market alive. The market was a reliable source for a wide variety of local, fresh fish, especially yellow perch. >click to read<18:28

Carp Conundrum: Too Many Fish, Not Enough Fishermen

Two Rivers Fisheries in west Kentucky has more than doubled its Asian carp processing since it opened in 2013. Employees at the Wickliffe fishery are working on a load of silver carp caught by contracted commercial fishermen. The crates of fish represent a small amount of the more two million pounds that Two Rivers processes. “We need at least 10 groups of full-time commercial fishermen, ”,,,  “I’ve got fishermen here that are making $2,000 to $3,000 a week… We are trying to get people to start fishing for this fish because this fish is here to stay and we are here to stay.” >click to read<16:22

New Season For Lake Erie Fleet

The largest fresh water commercial fishery is located in Wheatley on the shores of Lake Erie. Pickerel, or walleye, and perch are the main commercial species sought after by the Lake Erie fleet of fishing vessels. The fleet, however, is a collection of boats, known as fish tugs, working the lake for a number of different processors centered in Wheatley, like Cavendish, Loop, Presteve, and Taylor. The fleet of almost 45 boats returned to the lake about three weeks ago after the winter hiatus. Over 2 million pounds of perch will be harvested from Lake Erie this year and almost 6 million individual pickerel. >click for photos< 12:05

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross questions safety of seafood imports

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross addressed U.S. fisheries regulations and his concern about the quality of seafood imports with the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, 20 March, and he said he’s looking for NOAA Fisheries officials to work harder to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit.,, “It’s one of my pet peeves,” Ross said, when asked by U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Mississippi) what he planned to do to reduce the country’s seafood trade deficit. “I hate the idea that with all the water surrounding us and all the water inland that we have a trade deficit in fish. >click to read<13:05

Lake Michigan has become dramatically clearer in last 20 years — but at a steep cost

Decades ago, Lake Michigan teemed with nutrients and green algae, casting a brownish-green hue that resembled the mouth of an inland river rather than a vast, open-water lake. Back then, the lake’s swampy complexion was less than inviting to swimmers and kayakers, but it supported a robust fishing industry as several commercial companies trawled for perch, and sport fishermen cast their lines for trout. But in the past 20 years, Lake Michigan has undergone a dramatic transformation. >click here to read< 16:38

FISHBILL-US: Fishermen, Lets unite like never before!

It becomes clearer by the day that our industry needs protection in the form of legislation for fishermen and supporting industries. While fishermen and those supporting industries are struggling to survive in various regions, many of them await federal assistance in already declared federal fishery failures, much of it beyond their control. Congress has mandated the NOAA is the agency that controls the “best available science”, while other data is not considered, by law. This must be addressed as we watch the industry retract based on the science many of us have no confidence in. They control our fate. click here to read the full post 20:22

US Fish-Bill Unity – Sam Parisi

Recently, Fisherman Jon Johnson wrote an opinion piece in Fisherynation.com (Why Fishermen Fail To Unite and Resist Being Swept Off of Our Historic Fishing Grounds) about the reasons for, and lack of unity in the U.S. fishing industry on fishery issues affecting the industry, and while I agree with most of his points, we must remember we are at fault a lot of the time, without knowing even knowing it. I have always thought if, we together, could agree on the need for a US Fish Bill, we could get real stability for all in our US Fisheries. I am not alone, as I am receiving calls from many representatives of fishing organizations, and of various fishing communities. We need input from fishermen in every region, from every fishery, and I invite you to get involved. Merry Christmas from Gloucester Mass!  Sam Parisi, Gloucester 978 491 7722 [email protected] 16:58

A message from Sam Parisi – When senators and congressmen call you, you know you that your message is getting out there

A message from Sam Parisi – When senators and congressmen call you, you know you that your message is getting out there about the implementation of a US Fish Bill. You wonder why and then you realize that your dream to have federal legislation in the form of a Fish Bill has some merit. I have had calls from Senators on the West Coast and New England wanting to help and giving me advice. One of them said, “Sam this will have the backing of not only those engaged in the fishing industry, but also those associations for conservationists.”  click here to read the letter 14:26

Inland Fisheries: Native Fish Keepers – Picking up the tab for conservation

Conservation isn’t cheap. Under a cloudless sky on waters as smooth as glass, a crew of four men clad in bright orange rain gear splattered with fish scales and slime was doing its part last week to pay for the tab of conserving native trout in the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.,, Last spring, the Tribal Council approved the incorporation of the nonprofit, tribally owned Native Fish Keepers Inc. business that has begun selling some of the lake trout and whitefish caught in both netting operations and during the spring and fall Mack Days fishing contests hosted by the tribes. “Our overall objective in putting this all together is conservation,” said CSKT fisheries biologist Barry Hansen. “From the very beginning, we’ve been focused on reducing the number of lake trout to benefit both bull trout and cutthroats. We realized early on this would be an expensive operation.” click here to read the story 17:51

Inland Fisheries: DNR proposes a study on the effect of commercial gill nets on Lake Michigan

The Department of Natural Resources has proposed a study of the impacts of commercial gill netting on non-target sport fish such as chinook salmon and brown trout in the Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan. Commercial fishers in Zone 3 have lobbied the agency for the ability to use large mesh gill nets to catch lake whitefish. The gear has been prohibited in the zone, which covers the Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan south of Bailey’s Harbor, to prevent bycatch and mortality of sport fish as well as user conflicts. However, large mesh gill nets are allowed for commercial fishing in northern Lake Michigan and part of Green Bay. Commercial fishers have requested the same opportunity in Zone 3. click here to read the story 15:11

$300 million Asian Carp control plan needs study, says Lt. Gov.

Another proposed step to prevent Asian carp in the Illinois River from invading the Great Lakes needs a careful look, Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti said Monday morning aboard the twin-screw tugboat “Windy City” while it plied the Illinois River at Ottawa. In July, the Army Corps of Engineers released a new carp control system that would be installed at the Brandon Roads Lock and Dam on the Des Plaines River in Joliet. Of the $300 million cost of the installation the state is being asked to put up $90 million, she said,  and then pay $10 million annually in maintenance expenses,, “The actual (Asian carp) population has decreased 68 percent because of commercial fishing and other nonstructural solutions that are working,” said Del Wilkins. click here to read the story 15:43

Premiering Saturday – ‘Dead in the Water’ showing in Rockport to benefit Fisherman’s Fund

When he embarked on his documentary “Dead in the Water” in 2013 as a cinematic army of one, David Wittkower operated with the sense that he was capturing, if not the final act, then certainly the denouement of the Gloucester fishing crisis. He had, on visits to his native Rockport from his home in Los Angeles, seen the atrophying of the once-proud commercial fishing fleet and decided it was a Gloucester story worth telling. Little did the veteran filmmaker know of the national and global nature of what he was witnessing along the waterfront of America’s oldest commercial fishing seaport. click here to read the story Watch the trailer click here 08:06

Chinese business brings prosperity to fishermen on Mississippi

After less than 10-minute cruising on the Mississippi River in west Kentucky, Mark Buttler stopped his boat near a shoal and began to cast nets. He harvested 400 pounds of fish from two fishnets on this bright autumn morning. For the 62-year-old fisherman, who joined his father for fishing soon after high school graduation in the westernmost part of the U.S. state of Kentucky, the daily routine also includes selling his catch to a local business run by a Chinese entrepreneur. Before 2013, he sold his fish either to a market up north or to a seafood restaurant in Ledbetter, Kentucky. Then Angie Yu came to the City of Wickliffe in west Kentucky and opened the Two Rivers Fisheries to process fish from the Mississippi. Yu’s efforts also coincide with the U.S. government’s eagerness to remove some of the Asian carp from the river. click here to read the story 17:53

Lake Erie commercial fishermen sell catch right off their boat

Whatever Jim Shaffer and Brian Sontag are doing, they’d rather be fishing. “We’ve been friends since second grade,” Sontag said. “We have pictures of us fishing in creeks.” They have “real” jobs. Shaffer, 46, sells furniture; Sontag, 45, does computer wiring for Viscom Systems. Slowly but surely, though, they’re making a go of commercial fishing with their boat, Real Glory, and Sontag’s trap net license, both of which they landed six years ago. “Originally, I had my captain’s license,” Sontag said. “I was going to run charters and open a bait-and-tackle shop.” But he had put in for a Lake Erie trap net license, which is drawn by lottery, and got one. They decided to try to make a go of that instead. click here to read the story 11:21

Scientists concerned over health of fish species as wastewater treatment plants fail to remove drugs

Human antidepressants are building up in the brains of bass, walleye and several other fish common to the Great Lakes region, scientists say. In a new study, researchers detected high concentrations of these drugs and their metabolized remnants in the brain tissue of 10 fish species found in the Niagara River. The discovery of antidepressants in aquatic life in the river raises serious environmental concerns, says lead scientist Diana Aga, PhD, the Henry M. Woodburn Professor of chemistry in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences. “These active ingredients from antidepressants, which are coming out from wastewater treatment plants, are accumulating in fish brains,” Aga says. “It is a threat to biodiversity, and we should be very concerned. click here to read the story 16:57

Hickeys Launch New Commercial Fishing Vessel

The Gunnar J is the new 46-foot aluminum trap net boat powered by a Cummins QSC 660 engine, built by Hickey Bros. Research. The construction was supervised by Todd Stuth at Hickey Bros. Research, with help from Dennis and Jeff Hickey, Steve Warwick and John Tong. The boat will fish Lake Michigan for the Hickey Bros. Fishery. It is named after Gunnar Stuth, son of Todd Stuth and the youngest grandson of Dennis Hickey. link 08:41

NOAA seeks jurisdiction of Lake Michigan waters next to Wisconsin – Protecting shipwrecks or shipwrecking the economy?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is preparing to designate the waters of Lake Michigan next to Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Ozaukee counties as a national marine sanctuary, and that has set off a howl of protest that the state is surrendering its jurisdictional authority to the federal government, which critics say could threaten commercial fishing and coastal recreational activities, among other things. Meanwhile, both the Trump administration and Congress are looking into the national marine sanctuary program and into what some say are its overreaching and unilateral power to impose restrictions in the sanctuary areas. click here to read the story 09:41

Kentucky State Fish and Wildlife Department seeking input on entrepreneurial solutions for Asian carp problem

Asian carp swim by the millions in Kentucky’s waterways, threatening to crowd out native fish in some of the state’s most cherished fishing destinations – including Kentucky and Barkley lakes in the west. With an absence of predators and little natural controls available for these invasive species, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the state Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are seeking public input on a plan to limit the explosive growth of Asian carp populations while providing a valuable protein source for people. State officials will evaluate a potential public/private partnership to boost the emerging Asian carp fish processing business in Kentucky. State support of entrepreneurs could include hiring commercial anglers and rental of necessary equipment; supplying freezer space in warehouses; purchasing catches during low demand times; and cash incentives, among other potential solutions. click here to read the story 08:30

Fisherman Charged in Wife’s Lake Killing Despite No Body

A commercial fisherman’s story about his wife disappearing into the depths of Lake Erie on a boating trip isn’t adding up, and Pennsylvania authorities believe they know why. They say he’s the one who put her there. Christopher Leclair, 48, is jailed on a charge of criminal homicide in the presumed death of his wife of nearly 26 years, Karen, whose body has not been found. Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri,  “If you don’t have a body, you’re going to have to have a strong circumstantial case,” he said. The prosecutor and Kline believe they do, including other statements from Christopher Leclair that also don’t jibe, according to police affidavits filed with search warrants and criminal complaints. click here to read the story 11:50

Lake harvests are likely more fruitful than we knew

Harvests from freshwater fisheries such as the Great Lakes could total more than 12 million tons a year globally and contribute more to global food supplies and economies than previous estimates indicate, according to a study published today by Michigan State University and the U.S. Geological Survey.,,  Freshwater ecosystems across the planet provide valuable services, such as drinking water, hydropower, irrigation for agriculture and economically important recreation and tourism. The USGS, Michigan State University and partners estimated the 2011 fish harvest from over 246,000 lakes worldwide. They found that the harvest was 18.5 billion pounds, or the weight of more than a million large African elephants. click here to read the story 15:31

Updated: Husband Charged with Homicide After Reporting Wife Missing in Lake

Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges against the husband of an Albion woman who reportedly went missing in Lake Erie over the weekend. Erie News Now has learned Christopher Leclair, 48, has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of his wife Karen. Karen Leclair, 51, was reported missing Sunday afternoon. Christopher Leclair told the U.S. Coast Guard she had fallen off their commercial fishing vessel on Lake Erie Sunday afternoon. State Police tell us surveillance video catches Christopher Leclair and his wife heading onto the lake on Saturday and Christoper returning alone. Investigators say the video shows Christopher Leclair heading out on the water again Sunday. click here to read the story and related articles 0

Surveillance Video Helps Police Charge Husband in Wife’s Murder – When questioned by police, the other woman said Leclair spent the night at her house Saturday and the two discussed moving in together. click here to read the story 12:51

Woman Reported Missing in Lake Erie After Falling From a Fishing Boat

Pennsylvania State Police have issued search warrants as they are called in to assist in the case of a woman missing in Lake erie, after her husband reported she fell off a boat Sunday afternoon. She is identified as 51-year-old Karen LeClair of Albion. Her husband 48-year-old Christopher Leclair says it was the commercial fishing vessel he operates, the “Doris M.” that she fell from. According to Sgt. Brook Tolbert of the PA Fish and Boat Commission, Mrs. Leclair, a partner with her husband in a commercial fishing enterprise called, Lake Erie Fishing was not wearing a life vest. . “Mr. Leclair indicated that she was not wearing a life vest, there were plenty of life vests on board the vessel at the time, but she was not wearing it and she’s not required to wear it,” Video, click here to read the story 20:43

Last Man Standing: A Man and the River

Slicing across the tranquil Tennessee River, Leon Bivens looked across the dark blue expanse ahead — at the lights of the factories reflecting off the water and the steel and concrete bridges connecting the River City to destinations north. The 73-year-old’s calloused hands shrouded in yellow rubber gloves reached into the water and pulled on a line. A smattering of catfish and buffalo danced along the 100 hooks. “I love the river. The river is my life. I enjoy going to the river, putting down my lines, pulling them and catching fish, too. I really need to catch them, but I enjoy catching them anyhow. Ain’t I lucky,” Bivens said. For the past 59 years, Bivens has watched the changing world of the fishing industry from his boat’s wooden perch. He saw the rise in popularity of game fishing tournaments, the closing of mom-and-pop fish markets and the fall of independent commercial fishermen. click here to read the story 13:08

Cutting Deep – Commercial Fishermen killing one trout to save another in Yellowstone National Park

“Everything in Yellowstone National Park is a controversy,” says Dan Wenk, Yellowstone National Park superintendent. “And I’m glad it is because it means people care.” One of the things they care about is what’s going on in Yellowstone Lake. That’s where a commercial fishing crew from the Great Lakes region is catching lake trout with up to 40 miles of netting. This is the epicenter of the angry visitor’s angst. Lake trout are not native to the park. An angler caught the first one in 1994. By mid 2000s, lake trout had eaten 90 to 95 percent of the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the lake. Commercial gillnetting to kill lake trout went gangbusters in 2009. “The problem is lake trout are like large wolves on the landscape, only in the lake,” Koel says. “Large, highly predatory, fish-eating machines essentially.” Click here to read the story 12:01

Federal agents raid home of southern Indiana fisherman

The stillness in the air off Zoo Road in English on Monday sounded like a stark contrast to the chaos David Cox described at his nearby home. “They was hollering, ‘David! David!'” Cox recalled. “And there was as many as you could possibly put on my stairway with assault rifles and down here on the ground pointing them at me.”Last Wednesday, a raid from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife brought roughly 50 agents to his front door. They came after an illegal fish. “I said, ‘You serve all your warrants like this for an illegal fish?'” Cox said. Cox is a commercial fisherman who owns Midwest Caviar and combs the Ohio River for paddlefish. He says he recently found out an informant or undercover agent was on his boat last season in Troy, Indiana, when a fish came into question. Video, click here to read the story 19:27

The Fisherman Who Saved Fishtown

Fishtown looks as it did a half-century ago, when it was simply a fishing port. The commercial fishing boats, the Janice Sue and the Joy, bob slightly on gentle wakes left by charter boats heading out of the river. And smoke drifting from the crooked-arm chimneys of a smokehouse beside the white clapboard Carlson’s Fisheries is a sign that the business of fish mongering is well underway. Inside, a second pot of coffee is brewing in the big Bunn coffeemaker, and a hundred pounds of whitefish have just lost their pinbones to the deft hands of four Carlsons: Bill Carlson, owner of the fishery and of Fishtown, his wife Jennifer, his son Clay, and his great nephew, Chris Herman. Clad in suspenderes foul-weather pants, streaked now in blood, the foursome has worked shoulder-to-shoulder for over an hour. They banter as they work—Bill quips that his white hair is really blonde, turned from eating too much fish.  Good read, click here to read the story 08:00

Progress made on invasive Asian carp in Kentucky thanks to Commercial Fishermen

Asian carp have been a big problem in our state. For years now, the KDFWR has worked with commercial fisherman, private fish processors and others in efforts to remove the Asian carp from our waters. Since 2015, three processors have been established, and their facilities have led to the harvest of more than 1.2 million pounds of Asian carp in 2015; more than 800,000 pounds from Kentucky and Barkley lakes. These processors are putting a big dent into this large population and are taking a fish that is unwanted in our waterways and putting them to use by processing them into food to ship overseas. In March, Two Rivers Fisheries in Wickliffe announced it was expanding. The plant doubled production in the past year, processing more than four million Asian carp to ship the fillets overseas and to use in fertilizers. click here to read the story 10:32

Historic Great Lakes fishing tug Palmer dismantled at former Azarian Marina

A crew from Vassh Excavating and Grading began work Friday to dismantle the historic Palmer, a 90-year-old commercial fishing boat. The Great Lakes fishing tug was carved out of the ice on the Root River in January after the boat sank at its slip at the Pugh Marina in late December near the State Street Bridge. The crew began work to demolish the 47-foot long, 13-foot-wide Palmer by hauling debris out of the boat. After they complete their work, only the metal shell of the Palmer will remain. Once all the boat’s debris has been removed, the shell will be hauled from the former Azarian Marina site off Water Street. When demolishing the boat, Vassh’s crew began to uncover a treasure trove of historic items, including three steering wheels in nearly perfect condition, eight porthole windows, a lamp from 1896, various old wood carvings and books from the 1920s. They also located the original 1926 lights, a Case motor and Twin Disc transmission. click here to see images, video, and read the story  13:24

Telling it like it is! NOAA has done enough already and has failed in spectacular fashion

One wonders why a Marine Sanctuary is needed to protect shipwrecks.  Sanctuaries are usually established to protect ecosystems.  The typical reason for establishing a Sanctuary off our shores is inapplicable because our native ecosystem has been destroyed. After the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959 NOAA was assigned the responsibility of protecting the Great Lakes from invasive species, essentially making the entire region a sanctuary.  NOAA has failed in spectacular fashion.,, NOAA allowed the Lamprey Eel and Alewife into our native waters shortly after the Seaway opened. These and other foreigners decimated our native fishery.  Smelt survived until the 1980’s but now they too have been displaced by some other invasive species that NOAA failed to protect us from, was it the Quagga Mussel or the Round Gobi? (must read) Click here to read the letter. 10:04