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Harbor not ready for tourists

By Jennifer Henion

Triplicate staff writer

Just when the Crescent City Harbor Board seemed to feel proud of its accomplishments, sports fishermen let the boardmembers know there is still work to be done — and fast.

With Memorial Day weekend comes tourist season to Crescent City and, with only one fish-cleaning table and no sportboat docks out from their winter storage, there is worry tourists will leave for better digs elsewhere.

Crescent City Councilmember Herb Kolodner was among those concerned speaking to the harbor commissioners.

"It's literally impossible to clean two or three good-sized fish there at a time. And after tourists hit Memorial Day, it's going to be hellish," said Kolodner.

"And speaking as a city councilmember, with the timber and fishing industries dead, we have to survive here by tourists. And with one look at this place, I'm afraid they will head up to Brookings," he added.

The Harbor District recently dismantled two old and contaminated fish-cleaning stations and erected one new station with a stainless-steel top.

About six local sport fishermen lamented the lack of space and poor craftsmanship of the new table, disappointed by earlier promises by the board to provide better fish-cleaning space. It is located near the sportboat launching area on Anchor Way.

Harbor Commissioner Mario Deiro said the new station was designed to fit 10 fishermen and their fish, whereas the two old tables held five spaces each. He added that a grant won by the harbor last year will pay for new state-of-the-art fish cleaning tables next year. The current table was only meant as a temporary fix, he said.

Fisherman Brooks Adams noted, with this year's extended sport salmon season with higher catch limits, more temporary tables need to be constructed or tourists won't come back next year to use those built with the coming grant money.

"If you have six salmon per boat — 80 pounds of fish — and you're already tired and have to wait two hours to clean your fish, you are going to get complaints," said Adams.

Commission President Garry Young and Deiro asked the fishermen to attend the harbor's Maintenance and Operations Committee meeting next Tuesday to find a solution to the problem.

"I appreciate your being here and telling us about this. That's how we learn what's going on. And we will do something about this," he said.

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