Lob­ster sea­son ends

Fish­er­men must re­move traps to­day from Gabarus to Bay St. Lawrence.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JULIE COLLINS jcollins@cb­post.com

With rain in to­day’s forecast, lob­ster fish­er­man Ge­orge Popovich had a push on to get his traps out of the wa­ter.

It usu­ally takes about two days to get all the gear in, but Popovich and his crew of Josh Young and Paul Har­ri­etha took ad­van­tage of Tues­day’s favourable weather con­di­tions to haul ev­ery­thing out of the wa­ter.

“The sea­son ends to­day any­way, so rather than have to deal with the pos­si­bil­ity of dirty weather, I wanted to get my traps and lines in,” Popovich said.

“I wanted ev­ery­thing in, off the wharf and in the yard. It’s safer to haul traps when the weather is favourable.”

It was a good sea­son for Popovich and his crew, who fish out of Alder Point gov­ern­ment wharf.

Har­ri­etha was busy un­load­ing traps and buoys off the deck of the Steve’ N Ash.

“It was good, I like work­ing out­doors,” said Har­ri­etha of his first sea­son of lob­ster fish­ing.

Look­ing back on the 62-day lob­ster fish­ing sea­son, Popovich said it was fairly un­event­ful.

“Over­all, we had very good weather and we only lost a few traps.”

Popovich has been lob­ster fish­ing for 22 years.

“I love it, fish­ing gets in your blood,” he said. “I’ll take some time off for sure and then we'll start get­ting ready for next sea­son.”

The daily catch is a guarded se­cret, most fish­er­men don’t even tell each other their catch to­tals.

Ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans, the pre­lim­i­nary 2015 in­for­ma­tion for land­ings and landed val­ues for lob­ster fish­ing area 27 should be avail­able next sea­son, once the fish­ers log­books are re­ceived and an­a­lyzed by DFO.

Lob­ster fish­ing area 27, which runs from Gabarus to Bay St. Lawrence, has in ex­cess of 500 li- cences.

It was a dif­fi­cult start to the sea­son for many fish­er­men in area 27, es­pe­cially those in north­ern Cape Bre­ton.

For some, like lob­ster fish­er­man Mer­rill MacIn­nis of English­town, it was the worst con­di­tions he'd seen in more than two decades.

In late April, har­bours were still packed with ice and yards were full of snow or mud.

For­tu­nately, fish­er­men were able to get out by the start of the sea­son on May 15.

There were de­lays in the 2015 sea­son for lob­ster fish­ing ar­eas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which in­cludes the western side of Cape Bre­ton, P.E.I. and New Brunswick.

JULIE COLLINS/CAPE BRE­TON POST PHOTOS

Skip­per Ge­orge Popovich and crew mem­ber Josh Young pile traps on the wharf. In back crew mem­ber Paul Har­ri­etha was busy un­load­ing buoys and traps off the lob­ster fish­ing boat Steve ‘ N Ash. The lob­ster sea­son has ended in area 27.

To­day is the fi­nal day for fish­ing in area 27. Skip­per Cindy LeBlanc gets some help from her brother Ron LeBlanc un­load­ing traps off her boat the Cindy Lee 3 at the Bal­last Grounds in North Syd­ney.

Skip­per Ge­orge Popovich, cen­tre, and his crew mem­ber Paul Har­ri­etha un­load traps from the lob­ster fish­ing boat Steve' N Ash, docked at the Alder Point gov­ern­ment wharf.

With the end of the 2015 lob­ster sea­son in area 27, boats could be seen along the wa­ters off Cape Bre­ton in­clud­ing here in Point Aconi, un­load­ing traps.

Over the past cou­ple of days, traps could be seen piled on wharfs in coastal com­mu­ni­ties on Cape Bre­ton Is­land in­clud­ing the gov­ern­ment wharf in Alder Point. Fish­ing in lob­ster fish­ing area 27, from Gabarus to Bay St. Lawrence, ended to­day.

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