Herring today, gone tomorrow

Emma Graney
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Profitable season for fishermen in L’Anse au Loup area

Doug Ryland (right), Cecil Ryland and Garfield Ryland at the L'Anse au Loup wharf.

L’Anse au Loup — Doug Ryland and his crew were busy off-loading a seething, silver mass of herring at the L’Anse au Loup wharf last week at the tail end of what turned out to be a “pretty reasonable” season.

“We had the one trap got 23,000 pounds,” he told The Northern Pen.

“This is pretty good, but the last few weeks have been excellent. I figure we got about 350,000 pounds of herring … down a bit from last year, but some of the other crews over here definitely did better than that.”

While herring might be the bane of a Newfoundland mackerel fisherman’s existence, at 10 cents a pound in Labrador, the fish is a good little money-earner for Ryland and his crew — Cecil Ryland, Garfield Ryland, Rodney Barney, Shawn Normore, Hubert Fillier and Cleatus Earle — who fish the waters off Point Armour.

“It’s no problem for us if the mackerel and herring mix together, because they buy it all in the plant here — it’s a fishermen’s plant so they got no problem with that and they just sort it there and give us our final total,” he said.

“It’s the only one up here — I’m not sure that anyone else is buying herring up this way. Most of it will go to bait, but the ones over 200 grams will go to food. That’ll be a good couple of hours work at the plant there now to get it all packed.”

Ryland said he was also happy with the number of caplin he brought in this year — 600,000 pounds over 10 days.

“Some fellas are thinking about retiring, but oh yes, I’ll be at it next year,” he said with a laugh.

The Northern Pen

Geographic location: Labrador, Point Armour

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