A journey into the lives of the men who work a fishery.
Commercial fishing has long been integral to many ports along the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior shorelines, providing jobs to locals and fresh fish to consumers. It was also an important industry to the residents of Washington Island, author Trygvie Jensen’s hometown. Both Jensen’s great grandparents, Oliver Bjarnarson and Harry Hagen were successful fishermen. At its zenith, commercial fishing employed nearly half the island folk, boasting at one time over forty gill-net tugs and just as many fisheries. By the late 1980s, commercial fishing and the fleet of gill-net tugs had dwindled substantially. Today only two fisheries remain at Washington Island, and there are only a handful left in other regions.
Jensen’s book Through Waves and Gales Come Fishermen’s Tales takes you on a journey into the lives of the men and the families involved in a commercial fishery. The perilous adventures and colorful tales of the fishermen who put their lives in danger on the water will give you a porthole view of their lives on the Great Lakes. Interviews and reflections by the few remaining commercial fishermen documented in Through Waves and Gales Come Fishermen’s Tales detail a comprehensive oral history of the last century. Accounts and reflections of harrowing stories of being caught in violent storms and ice shoves, along with strange events and humorous stories, provide insight into a day in the life of a commercial fisherman.
Title: Through Waves and Gales Come Fishermen’s Tales
Author: Trygvie Jensen
Publisher: Paisa (Alt) Publishing Co. (2008)
Hardcover: 452 pages
Where to buy: Fair Isle Books & Gifts (Washington Island, WI), Islandtime Books and More (Washington Island, WI), Peninsula Bookman (Fish Creek, WI), Amazon.com
Read an excerpt from the book.