Preseason: Hanging net while you hurry up and wait

It’s preseason here in Bristol Bay. Everyone is hanging gear and getting ready for the fish to show up. Lots of rumors about the number of fish in the river. We have to wait until enough fish swim up the river to spawn before we can go fishing. In fisheries management this is called escapement. It is one of the tools used to manage the salmon fishery and keep it sustainable.

Net hanging tools

Net hanging tools

Xander carefully hangs gear

Xander carefully hangs gear

So, for right now, we mend our nets and talk about fish.  We wait for our turn to swim up the river. Now, we are all friends sitting around fires and talking about our winters just passed and our up coming summer. We all know that soon we will be competitors, each of us wanting to catch as much or more fish as the other guy. No matter how much we may compete on the water if anyone ever needed help, everyone would have your back.  Fishing in the Bay is a brotherhood. As soon as you fish, you are initiated into this brotherhood. 

Here's a series of pictures that shows different fishermen at work hanging their nets. 

The  F/V Sound and The Furry crew hard at work

The  F/V Sound and The Furry crew hard at work

Roby Lebovic hangs his own gear. Some skippers do it themselves, others pay someone else to do it.

Roby Lebovic hangs his own gear. Some skippers do it themselves, others pay someone else to do it.

Hanging gear is mathematical and three dimensional

Hanging gear is mathematical and three dimensional

Pete Cannon hangs his own gear on a sunny evening. Don't forget we have the midnight sun this time of year.

Pete Cannon hangs his own gear on a sunny evening. Don't forget we have the midnight sun this time of year.

Pete Cannon again, making progress

Pete Cannon again, making progress