PORT HAVING BUSY YEAR
August 18, 2000 11:00 pm

Its the best year in eight to 10 years.

Thats the assessment of Russ Crabtree, executive director of the Port of Brookings Harbor.

The place is jumping with activity as salmon anglers return with good catches.

Crabtree gives some of the credit to the ports fish adviser, Jim Welter, who held out for an expanded limit during the second half of the chinook salmon season.

Anglers can keep as many as two fish a day, but no more than four in a week.

Crabtree said most people arent catching the two fish, but they have time and opportunity on the water, he said.

A delegation of Brookings residents, including Welter, spent hours at meetings, and lobbied for the better season. It was set by the Pacific Marine Fisheries Council.

Although maybe not catching two fish, Crabtree said they do appear to be bigger. (For evidence, see the picture on Page 12A.)

Meanwhile, Crabtree said the port is continuing with the installation of the new docks in the sports basin. Even without all of the docks being put in, there are 290 boats tied up there.

Only three wings remain to be installed. When those are in, the total capacity of the docks made from concrete-enclosed forms will increase to 376.

Originally the docks were to be installed by the beginning of the May salmon season, but bad weather and other complications slowed the process.

Still, Crabtree said, they were able to accommodate all boaters. He said they were able to fill all of the need by phasing the removal of the old, wood docks. He said they were used to take care of the overflow during the weekend.

As part of the installation, the port drove dozens of metal pilings. It wound up with a few extra, which will replace wood pilings at the public fishing dock, he said.

The last work will be the installation of the transient dock near the main launching ramp, Crabtree said.

The new completion date is Sept. 30.

From the activity at the port, it is obvious the public would be served by having an additional launching ramp, he said.

It could be built in the vicinity of the barge basin near Harbor Ice, he said, for about $220,000. The state Marine Board will be approached about funding. To accomplish the project, it would probably take a couple of years, he said.

The cost of the new docks and the renovation of docks in the commercial basin came to about $2.7 million. Of the amount, $1.8 million was in loans, and most of the balance was in grants.

Crabtree said many agencies are involved in the financing, and that many will be thanked during a public ceremony to be held in October to celebrate the grand opening.