Mainly salmon and lobster

Reprinted from Decks Awash, Volume 15, Number 6
November – December 1986
Photographs from MUN Digital Archives

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Harrison Spurrell splitting logs, 1986

Harrison Spurrell, 60, lays a spruce log on its side and neatly splits it with his axe.

“I cut three or four cords each winter. It’s cheaper than oil or electricity and it gives me something to do,” he acknowledges now that the short fishing season is over.

Harrison fishes mainly salmon and lobster, although when his father became too old to fish he took over his cod traps for a while.

“The cod’s been no good these last few years. You want a good lot of cod traps to catch many cod and you might not do it then. No, since I’ve got older I’ve cut back to salmon nets and lobster pots.”

Last year was Harrison’s first at salmon and he admits it was fairly successful.

“There was times when I was making $1800 a week with only myself at it. This year wasn’t so good and the season didn’t start until the 5th of June. I got $2.50 a pound for the large and $1.75 for the small ones. Still, I got my stamps out of it. The lobster was pretty scarce.”

Butter Cove, 1986

Harrison fishes from a 19-ft. fiberglass boat.

“One hundred per cent better than wooden ones,” he declares. “I’ve had it five or six years and I haven’t done anything with it since. Haven’t had to paint it either. Great boats for ice and that,” he concludes, picking up his axe and resuming his log splitting.

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Transcribed by Wanda Garrett, July 2019

These transcriptions may contain human errors. As always, confirm these as you would any other source material