Stay Out of the Tow Lanes…Or Else!

It’s January 12, which means George has finally, officially started the Dungeness crab season with the setting of a few hundred crab pots at 8 a.m. this morning. They are required to let the pots soak for a few days and will then be allowed the first pick of the gear on January 15. After that, it will be a continuing cycle of setting pots, picking them up, moving them, setting them and picking them up again.

A letter came for George yesterday from the Sea Grant. He wasn’t here to receive the letter, though, so I went ahead and opened it. The letter, which was sent in bulk to all Washington Coast crab fishermen, started out by flattering the fishermen on how they’ve done a fairly good job of keeping their boats, pots, and buoys out of the “tow lanes” that are used by the tugs out on the open ocean.

The tone started to change in the middle of the letter, though, and by the end I was reading that if fishermen didn’t do a better job of keeping their gear out of the “tow lanes,” their buoys and buoy tags would be collected for identifcation and they would face lawsuit over any damage done to passing vessels. The letter included separate copies of some charts, and the whole thing seemed so “official” I figured I’d better let George know.

True to form, though, George wasn’t phased in the least and said he’d look at it whenever he got home.

Unlike me, George does not get easily stressed or overwhelmed. That’s a good thing, especially for a guy who has the incomes of several families resting on his shoulders, huge payments of his own to make, incredibly expensive gear and fuel to buy…not to mention crab to find, catch, and sell. Yikes. That’s a lot of stress for one guy!

I can’t wait to hear how the first day went, but I don’t plan to hear anything anytime soon. One thing I’m pretty sure about, though…he’s staying out of the tow lanes.

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