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Thread: Rules regarding Highway marina

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default Rules regarding Highway marina

    Yesterday I was heading back to Whitter and in port wells (past Esther Island) there was like a hundred commercial boats. They had the highway blocked off. Several boats yelled at me to stay away. My question is this. Can you block the highway? The water conditions in the passage were not the best and dealing with zig zag around all these boats was frustrating.
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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Gray View Post
    Yesterday I was heading back to Whitter and in port wells (past Esther Island) there was like a hundred commercial boats. They had the highway blocked off. Several boats yelled at me to stay away. My question is this. Can you block the highway? The water conditions in the passage were not the best and dealing with zig zag around all these boats was frustrating.
    The highway, as in the Alaska Marine Highway as it's marked on the charts? Yes, I think they can fish/set in those areas.
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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    They are not allowed to completely block off a navigable passage. They may try to yell, and bully you, but if they have the Entire channel blocked, call the troopers.
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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    On the chart, they had the purple lines mostly blocked.
    Some boats were staggered from each other and some were side by side.
    Anyway, first time experience this.
    I dealt with commercial guy by main Bay Area. There I just stay clear of them and let them earn there $$$)
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    Well then, that's a little different. It was not a marked channel on the water, just lines on a map?

    You must give way to vessels engaged in fishing, except when they are blocking a channel such that, due to the size or draft of your vessel prohibits safe passage around their nets.

    If they have the whole channel corked off, that's illegal. If you have the draft and maneuverability to safely navigate through, then they have that right.

    If you saw red and green bouys and they were in between them, they're wrong.
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    For them to plug up port wells seems just ridiculous to me - that is a bit obsurd. I know that the commercial fisheries made these fish for them to wrap up, but pluggin up the whole thing is crazy. They don't own the friggin ocean - just them hatchery fish.....and I have my own ideas about that ordeal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    For them to plug up port wells seems just ridiculous to me - that is a bit obsurd. I know that the commercial fisheries made these fish for them to wrap up, but pluggin up the whole thing is crazy. They don't own the friggin ocean - just them hatchery fish.....and I have my own ideas about that ordeal.
    Doesn't sound like they had Port Wells completely shut off, just had "the purple lines mostly blocked". That being the case, there would have been plenty of room to get around them, although that probably meant going several miles out and around.

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    Your right,,,I suggest to any boater to read and know "the rules of the road" but for the most part you must give way to a vessel engaged in fishing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    Well then, that's a little different. It was not a marked channel on the water, just lines on a map?

    You must give way to vessels engaged in fishing, except when they are blocking a channel such that, due to the size or draft of your vessel prohibits safe passage around their nets.

    If they have the whole channel corked off, that's illegal. If you have the draft and maneuverability to safely navigate through, then they have that right.

    If you saw red and green bouys and they were in between them, they're wrong.

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    The problem there is all the natural fish are getting cleaned out and nobody cares. The nets don't sort out the fish

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    For them to plug up port wells seems just ridiculous to me - that is a bit obsurd. I know that the commercial fisheries made these fish for them to wrap up, but pluggin up the whole thing is crazy. They don't own the friggin ocean - just them hatchery fish.....and I have my own ideas about that ordeal.

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    I did have to go way out of my way to advoid the nets and boats.
    Now, what would of happen if I was a cruise ship or ferry? Would they had to go around them? Food for thought.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Gray View Post
    I did have to go way out of my way to advoid the nets and boats.
    Now, what would of happen if I was a cruise ship or ferry? Would they had to go around them? Food for thought.
    Goes back to the size/ draft/ safely maneuver part.

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    I have to say, I feel your pain. Couple years ago I was headed to Ewan Bay in my 18'. They had Port NJ to Eshamy completely corked off, overlapping nets, with no way through. I went up and down the line looking for a hole. One guy yelled at me to go back through Culross, and around Knight Island... Yeah right.

    I told him I was calling the troopers. Another boat spoke up and said I could pass over his net if I pulled my motor up and paddled over. I was pissed, but I didn't want a fight at the time.
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    I have seen corked off passages but managed to work my way thru them eventually, if it ever got that bad I might be tempted to try to run over the net with the engines tipped way up and turn them off at the last second....

    When I worked out in Bristol Bay the caption had a cage welded over his prop and rudder so we could run over nets and lines.. people who yelled at us got the wash down hose treatment...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Gray View Post
    I did have to go way out of my way to advoid the nets and boats.
    Now, what would of happen if I was a cruise ship or ferry? Would they had to go around them? Food for thought.
    I was holed up at the mouth of Pigot Bay and it was quite a sight seeing all those boats. The din from them collectively made it sound like I was standing next to a freeway. What were they fishing, chums?

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    Yep, Chums right now with the occasionaly red too. All those boats sure make it interesting passing thru. Just go slow and pick the nearest boat and follow the corkline. It takes some patience, but you can easily navigate thru the nets it ya pay attention.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Gray View Post
    I did have to go way out of my way to advoid the nets and boats.
    Now, what would of happen if I was a cruise ship or ferry? Would they had to go around them? Food for thought.
    This guy went around the nets like he was driving a mazeratti !! So all you guys with those small boats should be able to get around with no problems, just slow down !!! All the sea lawyers can quote the rules of the road but the gillnetters ain't going to go away. Never had any problems before the tunnel was paved ???

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    This sea lawyer has had one, and only one trip to Whittier, not worth putting up with the BS... You ANC folk can have it. I'll take K-Bay on a weekday away from the parasites, thank you.

    And btw, I was at 1000 rpm going 7 kph by GPS, the entire time I was fighting for a way around. The gillnetters had it corked off PERIOD!, they only backed off when I threatened to call the troopers...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Yep, Chums right now with the occasionaly red too. All those boats sure make it interesting passing thru. Just go slow and pick the nearest boat and follow the corkline. It takes some patience, but you can easily navigate thru the nets it ya pay attention.
    Well said Rob !! The thing that used to worry me the most was when i saw a rec boat up on step and heading straight for all of us, it seems like all the bowpickers were magnets for those boats they had to try and run through the middle of them instead of slowing way down and trying to see the buoys and corklines ! Every guy that hit my net was up a on step and hauling arse till they hit the net and stopped, funny they all said the same thing "I was out of gear when i hit it and didn't do any damage" yeah except take out 300ft of corkline by ripping the net off the hangings !!! I wish i would of shot flare guns at them, they cost me THOUSANDS in lost fish and fishing time.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Yeah Steve. I learned the way from few weeks of gillnetting Main Bay. It was a great time and I learned a lot. Now I don't worry too much about those guys. They are doing their job and I either go around or make my way slowly thru the corks. It's not that hard. But to the new guy I'm sure it's overwhelming the first time. Just remember they only fish 1 mile offshore. But the Ester island area does get choked off pretty bad.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I've been spending my summers on the Sound since I was an infant, and I've never not been able to get through the gillnetters. We have a bit of an advantage in that we have a flying bridge, and the added height makes seeing the corks a bit easier - but regardless, we drive slowly, communicate with the gillnetters when needed, and weave our way through people doing their jobs and earning their living.

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