Westport Marina, located in the Port of Grays Harbor, Washington boasts
the state’s largest fish landing port. The marina is currently home to 285
annual boaters, two-thirds of which are the commercial fleet, including several
tribal commercial fishing vessels. During the fishing seasons, transient
commercial fishing boats arrive from California, Oregon, Alaska, other
Washington ports and Canada, with a modest-sized charter fishing fleet still
operating out of the marina.
to 180 feet,” says Marina Manager Robin Leraas. The marina has two processing
plants that process Dungeness crab, Pacific Whiting, anchovies, sardines,
salmon, Albacore tuna and other fish products processed by Washington Crab
Producers and Ocean Companies, as well as Westport Seafoods, Merino Seafoods,
The Seafood Connection, D&M Live Crab and RPMM. The marina has a
95,000-square-foot cold storage facility, one of the largest on the West Coast,
operated by Ocean Gold Seafoods, and one fueling dock owned by Masco Petroleum.
changed, especially due to the increasing size of vessels. “Our facility was
built to accommodate commercial fishing vessels that were under 40 feet but we
do have a limited supply of berths over 50 feet up to 128 feet.”
opportunities in order to construct a work dock, haul-out and boat repair yard.
“The Westport Marina Master Plan identified that fishermen do need these
support facilities, and the development of these facilities are dependent on
private grant or port funding availability, which we continue to seek funding
fishing fleet to recycle and is looking into a recycle program for commercial
nets and crab pots. Last year, the Port upgraded their facility with a
$180,000, 18-piling creosote replacement project. “We continue to upgrade our
facility as each year goes by,” says Leraas.
commercial fishermen with a small commercial rafting area and heavy haul-out
yard. Their marine Travelift can lift 330-ton vessels up to 150 feet long with
a 31-foot beam, and their 150-foot hull washdown facility follows current
environmental standards. A concreted-deck work pier can handle cranes and other
heavy equipment and there is also a 10-acre dry-land storage area.
“We get a lot of fishermen who come down for the winter from Alaska because
there are a lot of trades that work on the boats,” says Harbormaster Tami Ruby.
salmon, halibut and crab, and New Day Fisheries processes crab, shrimp, salmon,
and more. A fuel facility is also available.
Marinas, and have 5-Star Enviro-Star ratings. Blaine has 100 slips that can
accommodate commercial fishing vessels from 30 feet to 65 feet and a couple of
end ties that will handle up to 100-foot boats. Additionally, they offer
approximately 800 to 900 feet of side-tie storage that can accommodate any size
of boat up to 80 feet, plus some limited rafting options.
harbor, says Blaine’s Harbormaster Andy Peterson. “September through April, we
have the commercial crab openings and then usually short openings for sockeye
and pink salmon in August and September,” he says, noting that when the State
did the buy-back program in 1999, with salmon permits, the fleet sizes shrank
at both facilities but there has been a healthy resurgence in activity.
twice that number in Squalicum that go up to Alaska every year for the salmon
season,” says Peterson. “They homeport out of our facilities. We also get a
bunch of boats that come through every year to load gear and get work done.”
crab, salmon and dogfish are processed as well as sea urchins and sea
cucumbers. The harbor is also home to two boat yards, one of which operates a
30-ton travel lift and 250-ton marine ways that can haul out anything from a
90-foot King Crabber down to a 24-foot pleasure sailboat.
through to get a haul-out and get ready for the season,” says Peterson. “We
also have another boatyard with a hydraulic trailer that can haul out up to
about 50 feet.”
can rent hourly to allow them to move their crab gear around, as well as a
hydraulic net reel. “It’s a giant Seine drum mounted onto a trailer, so when
they bring their boats down, they can pull the net off their boat and work
right on the deck or move it to our net repair area. I think we’re one of the only
ports I know of that actually has a piece of machinery like that,” says
Peterson. For fueling, commercial fishermen can access the harbor’s fuel dock,
which Peterson says has a very good reputation with the industry, and
optionally, fuel jobbers will do bulk deliveries on an as-needed basis.
commercial fishing vessels, as well as a sawtooth dock that is available at a
daily rate which can handle up to 20 boats, depending on size. Harbormaster
Chris Tibbe says the real benefit of that is not only does it have a
stiff-legged crane at the end of it, it conveniently allows fishermen to drive
their vehicles right out to the stern of their boats.
hydraulic net roll trailer as well as a sizeable number of web lockers that are
reserved entirely for the commercial fishermen,” he says. “Additionally, there
is a fence-secured storage area so if fishermen need to change out a drum or gear
from one fishery to another, they can put it in this area without worry.”
are all certified fuel-over-water operators. Local seafood buyers and
processors include Bornstein Seafoods and Bellingham Cold Storage. There are a
number of different companies using the space at Bellingham Cold Storage, which
Tibbe says is well organized and efficiently used.
located right inside the harbor as well as Landings at Colony Wharf and the
Fairhaven Shipyard in Fairhaven. The Faithful Servant dry dock at the Fairhaven
Shipyard can be pulled into Bellingham Bay and sunk so large vessels can
utilize the heavy lift. Additionally, marine supplies are available at both
Redden Marine Supply and Lummi Fisheries Supply, which are both located within
walking distance of the commercial fleet.
located right along the waterfront, which can cover most any work that
commercial fishing vessels might need. And the Commercial Fisherman’s
Association of Whatcom County is an active association, helping to promote the
area commercial fishing facilities and marine trades.
complete rebuild of their sawtooth pier, a major power upgrade to accommodate
220-volt power systems, new overhead lighting, new water systems for year-round
water availability and the main deck has been newly-overlaid with asphalt.
Blaine Harbor is working on redesigning their master plan for the part of the
harbor that includes the processors and shipyards adjacent to their sawtooth
homeport here are priorities for the Port of Bellingham’s Board of
Commissioners according to Peterson. They established a reduced moorage rate
for active commercial fishermen and worked to market local marine trades
businesses to the region.
are charged $5.90 per foot plus Washington State leasehold tax, and any boat
over 80 feet is charged $6.92 per foot plus the Washington State leasehold tax.
“The program is very simple to administer,” says Tibbe. “Fishermen just have to
bring in their active and current fishing license and they’re good to go.”