September 12, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 37

Yesterday's News

September 13, 1913 – While patroling the beach a short time ago, a life saver by the name of Blackbery of Mansfield, Or., came across a lump of peculiar substance weighing about 85 pounds, but paid no attention at the time and went on his way.

After he got home he remembered the material he had been so careless with resembled a picture he had seen of ambergris, which brings $1000 a pound. Blackbery rushed back to the beach and took the substance home. He sent a piece to David Starr Jordan of California, who declared, after an examination, that he believed the substance was ambergris, which originates in the stomach of a sperm whale and is used to make the finest perfumes.

Not satisfied, Blackbery sent a sample to France to be tested, and he is today awaiting a reply which may mean a fortune to him.

September 14, 1983 – Don't feed the bears. This is easy enough to say, but the bears need less encouragement this year than they have needed the last few years.

Butch Young, game biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said there are at least two bears harassing city residents along the outskirts of town.

Two areas, Magill's Trailer Court on Skylark Way, and Lumber Street are the two areas that have reported bears, but bears have also been seen in “Severson's Subdivision” and on Sandy Beach Road.

This year is worse for bears than in recent years, Young said, but he does not know the reason why. He said a successful fishing season might be a reason because there are more fish in garbage cans.

“Once they find food in garbage cans, they come back,” Young said.

He said they are asking people to clean fish in the field and not bring fish heads into town. Dog and cat food left outside also attracts bears.

He suggests keeping a clean garbage can and taking garbage to the dump if necessary, so bears will not be attracted.

Black bears are wild and should not be approached, Young said, even though they seem tame. A wounded animal is even more dangerous.

September 16, 1993 – Halibut was brought in to local processors in sufficient numbers to please shoreside officials.

But some fishermen overheard on the street said they didn't catch many.

Patrick Wilson, plant manager at Petersburg Fisheries, said individual vessel catch depended on where fishermen went.

Some of those who fished in Frederick Sound and near Juneau didn't do so well, he said, while those further away did better.

“We're pleased with the overall volume,” he said.

PFI was expected to finish freezing halibut Wednesday.

The plant will next get ready for a one-day black cod opener in Chatham Strait on Sept. 25, and a two-month dungeness crab season starting Oct. 1.

October 9, 2003 – Petersburg IFQ long liners Kurt Kvernvik (6'4”) and Tom Lewis (6'7”) stand next to a 7'6” halibut they unloaded at Norquest Seafoods on Saturday. The monster fish was caught in Southeast waters when it succumbed to the alluring smell of a circle hook baited with gray cod. The fish weighed in at over 400 lbs.

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