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Blue Water


Ernie is a retired trap fishermen, and now shellfisherman. His weir (trap) business was a family business. He got hooked on it very young and it's stuck with him over 50 years. He fished in Nantucket Sound in a 30 foot boat named for his father Lester F Eldredge. Weir fishing is an ancient way of fishing with a multitude of crew who were hard-working and committed to moving a lot of fish in a short period of time. Every day he’d go out, never knowing what we would get. The fish would show up when water temp was right and the traps would fill up with mackerel, squid and scup.

“We had multiple boats that were full of fish before the Sound and its environment changed. We’d haul, transport fish, pack the fish all in one day. The work was hard and labor intensive. Our biggest day was 63,000 pounds of fish. 6 crew people hauled the weirs, and 4 on the dock to help pack. The most challenging is the weather. It's such a short season that missing a day could be detrimental to the whole season."

"I love being on the water, and though I’ve retired from trap fishing, I continue to commercial shellfish, I can’t be away from the water”
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