Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

Oregon’s Working Waterfront Tour – Salmon Troller

My name is Paul Merz. I’m commercial salmon fisherman. I fish commercially since 1970. The boat that I’ve got now it’s a salmon troller. We use a
different kinda gear than pretty much any other fishery. We fish
hook and line here only. We land one fish at a time. Take care of one fish at a time. Try to produce a good product. If you
want, why, we’ll go out and look at the boat, look at the gear, and show you how things work. When were fishing we usually fish between two and a half and three knots. These leads here go between 45 and 60
pounds a piece. As the wire goes down we’ll pull the gear
out at the storage area, throw it off the back to the boat, and then
it gets clipped on the wire with this snap as it goes out. And the
snaps are spread in their stops on the wire. We put four hooks on each wire. That’s all we’re allowed by law. This is a cleaning trough. When the fish
come aboard, why, after they’re bled and stunned then we
have to dress them. The fish is laid in here on its back.
The gills are remove. The belly is split. The guts are pulled out. And then it’s on
this boat it gets power bled which is done by cutting the throat
latch around the gills. It allows the blood out of the fish. The heart continues to pump for a couple minutes and then after we let the fish bleed out then we pressure bleed it with this which removes all the blood out of the
fish and gives you a longer shelf life. We have pretty much all the amenities you
have at home. It may not be as fancy, but we live here. I go to sea for four days
at a time. Experience tells you what to look for as far as currents, water conditions what the fish are eating, how deep they
are in the water column. Some people call it luck. Some people, I
think there is some luck involved, but some experience pays off a lot of times

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