Bea turned two in March, making this her third summer hanging nets with Mama and Papa. This year she decided to try her hand at it….
Every spring we hang our gill nets to commercial fish for salmon in Bristol Bay with a 32 ft. drift gillnet boat. The hanging of the net involves tying the bundle of mesh onto a 50 fathom cork line, three meshes at a time, each knot evenly spaced apart depending on the net’s mesh size. Tying a cork into place every third hanging, and tying a weighted lead line to the bottom of the mesh, once the cork line is complete.
When the net is fished, it essentially works as a curtain in the water, with the cork line floating and the lead line holding the mesh as a sheet for the salmon to swim into. The net catches the salmon by their gills and when we haul in the net each salmon is hand picked, chilled in refrigerated sea water in fish holds onboard the boat, and delivered to tender vessels to be transported to shore for processing.