Malpeque fishermen worry sandbar will block boats
Dredge operator says windy conditions have delayed work
Lobster fishermen in Malpeque are worried their season could get off to a dangerous start Monday because of a large sandbar that is blocking the entrance to Malpeque Harbour.
Dozens of fishermen have loaded traps onto their boats in advance of Monday’s expected departure, but now some say they’re worried that may not happen because the area needs to be dredged.
"We’re having trouble here leaving with an empty boat," said fisherman Chris Wall.
"When you get a boat loaded with thousands of pounds of traps and poor visibility with the load obstructing your view – we’re quite concerned with what could take place here."
Matthew Wall said he went in his empty boat to the sandbar Sunday in high tide.
He said the harbour entrance was three feet deep and 12 feet wide.
"So any little mistake – or you’re off by a little bit – and you’re sitting in the sand."
Dredge on the scene
The provincial government contracted a dredge operator to clear the path. It’s been in the area all week. But the operator said up until Sunday, the conditions were too windy to work.
The operator told CBC he’s confident he’ll have a small opening dug by Monday morning to ensure the boats can pass safely.