Hi all, we’re back from the beach and I wish we had bettter news to report, but the fishing was pretty poor this season. Annually we set up our camp and float our net, and by the end of the 10-day fishery we have filled everyone of permits of the six families we fish withm which is usually several hundred fish. This year, however, we ended up bringing in less than 100 total, for everyone to divy up.
Needless to say this is a crushing blow to the kennel. The dogs rely on the heads we get during this fishery, and usually when the fish are surging in we will get lots of calls from locl canneries and home consumers who have more fish from last year than they know what to do with. They donate it to us, which helps offset the ever expernsive dog food bills. This year, though, few calls have come in and unlike everyother year we’ve ever had, when we get thousands of fishheads from the canneries. We have gotten nothing.
The problem is a slickster from the Lower 48 tapped into this market and got all the canneries to agree to give him their heads exclusively. They normally can’t find enough places to put this by-product and legally by the EPA, they can only dump so much back into the inlet, so we ended up with tons. This guy, though, gets all the heads now, and presses them for oil, which he gets rich off of selling the oil to the vitamin supplement markets. It’s good for him, but bad for us. Summer is a time for us to save and financially get back on our feet for winter. As I’ve written in the past, it cost us $40 for a bag of food, and we go through a bag a day at the kennel, so it adds up quickly.
With so few fish resources this year, we are thankful for the few we got. There weren’t may, but at least they were good sized ones, as evident from the pic above our niece holding up a nice sockeye. Needless to say, with money going out of our bank account like water down a drain, there won’t be any Iditarod this year. I know some of you have asked, because the first day of sign-up was Saturday, but it is just too expensive a proposition for us this year.
We have mixed feeling on this. It is always sad to miss out on the party, and at the age most of the core dogs, like Penny, are at, this may have been there last year to really pull together as a cohesive team at an ultra-competitive level. But on the other hand, we are dog owners/lovers first and an Iditarod racing kennel second. The dogs have just as much fun swimming, lounging around the house, free running on the beach and moooching table scraps, as they do pulling in the snow for hundreds of miles, so I don’t think they’ll miss it too much.
On a good financial note, our canvas photo sales have been red hot. Since the last blog post we have sold many, including to two local restaurants and one fly-out bear viewing service. So in addition to the ones hanging in people’s homes, these are on display for the public to see for hopefully years to come. Well, all for this week. We have been swimming and hiking with the dogs lot,s so hopefully we’ll get some photos of that up soon. Until then, enjoy summer, it’s getting shorter by the day.