December 20, 2012 | Volume 42, No. 51

Thomas got harbor upgrades going

As a commercial fisherman out of Haines, I was surprised that Bill Thomas lost his campaign. The recent plans for the harbor’s improvement and expansion showed foresight for the future of the often-overlooked fishing industry.

The commercial fishing industry has been a vital part of the economy in Haines for over 100 years. In my 30-plus years of working out of Haines, I’ve seen little improvement and no expansion of the Haines harbors, while the small communities of Hoonah, Petersburg, Wrangell and Sitka have seen significant improvements and expansion. I store my boat in Skagway during the winter due to poor haul-out facilities and no storage yard with facilities here, as do nearly 20 other Haines fishing boats. The Haines Borough is missing out on storage fees for these boats as well as the hardware and living costs of staying in Skagway while getting ready for the summer season.

I have serious concerns that our young representative from Sitka will have the seniority and ability to work with government to keep the momentum going in the positive direction that has been initiated these last few years for the northern Lynn Canal fishing industry.

Dennis Gudmundson