By Amy Reusch
FOR THE SOU’WESTER
TONEY RIVER, N.S. – As the Northumberland Strait lobster season wrapped up at the end of June, it was a tough season for most fishermen.
“Well, it was a challenge,” said Ronny Heighton of the Northumberland Fishermen’s Association. “We had terrible weather. It was cold, windy and rainy.”
Heighton said the catches were slow in most areas, especially in the waters around Pugwash and Malagash, which are down from last year. He said by the end of the season on June 30, catches would be on par with last year.
Eugene Fortune, who fishes out of Toney River, said his catches are where they should be for this time in the season, but, like most, didn’t think the prices were.
With a week to go in the season, the price per pound for canners and markets was $5.25, up from the beginning of the season and up $1 per pound from last year as well.
“The price is all right, but it would have been better at the start of he season,” said Fred Faulkner, adding the cost of bait and fuel went up this year.
Elmer Cameron of Toney River said prices should have been in the $6 to $7 dollar range. Heighton said because the season has been difficult, some fishermen looked for work elsewhere or landed their gear early.
Heighton said after the lobster season ended, some would begin fishing for rock crab, and in late August into early September the herring season will start.
“It is too early a guess on the what the price will be,” said Heighton about the herring season. “Last year it started at $12 per pound and ended at $16 per pound. We did get $22 a pound in 1995.”