There’s nothing that catches fish better than a brand new net.
If you can maintain a clean net you’re fully optimizing your ability to catch.
Bill Webber runs Webber Marine and Manufacturing in Cordova, which specializes in the salmon gillnet arena.
The net washer is one of the newest tools to come out of his shop.
It essentially has vertical water chambers that weld onto the outboard sides of the rollers. The rollers still function as intended and they roll as the net goes through them.
On the front and the back of this level line there’s vertical water jet holes in the water columns that spray at each other and through the net as it goes through the level lines.
Other inventions over Webber’s 40-year tenure include hydraulic rotating turrets for net reels, automated seawater chlorination systems and an electronic intravenous pressure process that bleeds a fish in about 30 seconds.
“I like building a better mouse trap, if you will,” said Webber.
And quad-designed bedding stations for quickly cleaning each fish.
“Actually doing four fish at one time and these trays also have all the pressure bleeding components built into it,” Webber said. “There’s water supply that spray over the top of the fish that keeps things clean as we are processing.”
All of Webber’s designs are aimed at maximizing fish quality.
As a nearly 50-year fishing veteran at Copper River, he’s engaged in every branding and quality program. He was the leader nearly 20 years ago in creating a new Harvester-Direct, “personal fisherman” business model that integrates catching, processing and delivering salmon direct to select high end chefs and buyers. He calls it a paradigm shift, which fittingly is the name of his boat.
“It kinda fits the model of how I vertically integrated my commercial fishing business by becoming more than just a harvester,” Webber said. “I’m the marketer, the processor, the logistics guy and on and on.”
Webber sells more than 95 percent of his salmon catch under his Gulkana Seafoods brand. He makes presentations around the nation, advising fishermen how they can reclaim more value for their catches.
His hope, he said, is to offer, especially to younger salmon harvesters, the tools that from the get go will have them providing the finest fish to source conscious buyers.
Watch the net washer in action at https://www.facebook.com/168847536491621/videos/1133026006740431/