Englund Marine Supply Co., at 201 Citizens Dock Rd., has been supplying fishing and boating gear to this area and beyond for nearly three decades. Manager Chris Hegnes recently discussed the company's larger picture, its history and the future issues it faces.
Q: What do you do and how long have you been doing it?
Hegnes: We sell commercial and recreational fishing gear, and recreational boating goods for any freshwater or ocean boats that fish along the coast and our inland waters. There are seven Englund Marine stores in the Northwest, from Westport, Wash. to Eureka. The main store is in Astoria, Ore. Every store is different. That's what's unique about our company. I have probably more freshwater gear than most of the other stores, just because we have the Chetco, the Smith, the Klamath and the Rogue Rivers here. We have three distributing stores, too. I've been working here 14 years and I've been managing the store for about four years now.
Q: What inspired you to go into this line of work?
Hegnes: I was a commercial fisherman. With all the rules and regulations that were going on in fishing, and getting married and trying to raise kids, I decided to find a job on land. I actually quit my crab job and got hired here an hour later.
Q: Were you previously in another line of work or business? What kind of business? Where? When?
Hegnes: I was a commercial fishermancrab and shrimp. I also worked at Pelican Bay. I was on the forestry crew for Simonson's. Since I was born and raised here, I'm an avid outdoorsman. I hunt and fish. I love fishing on the ocean, so I fell right into it.
Q: How has your business changed over the years?
Hegnes: Tighter regulations. The commercial fishermen are really getting a bum rap. People think the fishermen go out and rape the ocean, and it's not that way. With shrimping, we used to have a lot of by-catch. Fourteen years ago, they came in with these fish excluders, which makes any of the larger fish go out a hole, and it reduced the by-catch by 99 percent. Fishermen did everything they could to develop new gear to get away from by-catch. But the government was making it tough to make a living with all the restrictions and the quota limits. There's so much misinformation that comes from southern California. It's like they're going to put these new protection areas in. We've already got protection areas. There are just a lot of changes we're having to deal with, and that's the next one that'll be here in a couple/three years.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your business?
Hegnes: Dealing with the type of people I deal withmostly recreational and commercial fishermen.