What are the basic requirments in order to apply?
You must be at least 18 years of age to work here at the PAS Fish Camp, due to insurance purposes. You must also be legal to work in the United States.
What kind of identification do I need?
You MUST have two forms of ID with photo's on them, such as a Drivers License, State ID, Social Security Card or a valid passport.
How many people do you hire for your crew?
We generally hire about an average of 10-12 crewmembers per season, and one or two of those hired will be upgraded to Junior captain positions.
Is strong physical size a requirement?
Your physical size will not impact your chance to be a part of our crew, but it allows us to get a picture of our overall strength and work output capacity. We find that a strong mind, good stamina and a great attitude can accomplish tasks that body strength may not always achieve. All that we ask is that you be in decent physical working condition with no previous injuries that would limit your ability to work or be at risk of re-injuring during the season. Please disclose all past injuries during your interview, so we can help determine if this type of fishery is right for you.
How many days off for leisure may we expect?
Maybe one or two at the very most.
Is this a moral or religious environment?
We do not discriminate against anyone's religious beliefs, although there is some salty language floating around which may be offensive to some. If you do need to arrange accomodations for religious purposes please discuss it with us upon hiring.
Do you need any special skills?
Electrical, mechanical, carpentry, welding, team leading, painting, previous boating experience are all very helpful, but are by no means required.
What is a Set-Netter?
There are different types of Commercial Fishing; Purse-Seining, Trawling, Drifters & Crabbing are examples of other Commercial Fisheries. Each fishery has different equipment, gear, work load & job descriptions associated with them. Set-Netting is a "Land Based Fishery" which means we spend about 60% of the time on Land, and 40% out on the water. We don't travel too far from the shore line, and we use gillnets that are located both on shore, and off shore. Set-Netters typically have base locations or "Fish Camps" where the majority of the living and working actually take place. Unlike some other Fisheries, we don't live and work on a boat the entire time, and we don't have a dock that we operate out of. This type of Commercial Fishing has been around since the indigenous Alaska Native peoples and is considered the best Crash Course for the Greenhorn Fisherman looking to start his career.
How many tides are there per day?
The Upper Cook Inlet has four sets of tides each day, two highs and two lows and we fish at the peaks of each of these tides, depending on our fish periods.
What are Fishing Periods?
Fishing Periods or "Openers" are determined by the Alaskan Fish & Game and are based directly off of Escapment Rates (AKA, number of individual salmon) that are entering the Cook Inlet on a daily basis. As the summer goes along, the amount of fishing time we will recieve will depend on the Escapment Rate, with the exception of two twelve hour Fishing Periods we are given each week. A Fishing Period can last anywhere from 8 hours to 48 hours, and we are given limited notice before they occur in order to prepare.
What are the hours we work on non fish days?
We work about a 10 hour day in addition to meal breaks, Monday-Sunday, from roughly 10AM to 10PM on Non-Fish Period days. During our Fishing Periods days we work around the Tide Schedule and until the job is done!
What happens in a normal day?
This is definitely not a normal job therefore there is no way to really tell what a 'normal day on the job' could be, but that's part of the adventure, Right?!? On "Non-Fish Period" days we'll mostly spend our time mending nets,repairing gear and other necessary equipment and get ready for the next Fish Period. Since we are a fully functional homesteader fish camp with many buildings, there is always a Fixxer-Upper project or two that may need to be tackled. Pre & Post season work requires more set-up and clean-up related tasks, while mid-season work will focus mainly on Fishing and necessary maintenance.
What is the most difficult part of your daily routine?
Lack of sleep, Working against the weather and maintaining the fishing equipment.
What are the terms under which a crewmember would be paid if he/she quits during the season or fails to complete any term of the contract?
Quitting Policy: If one was to quit before their scheduled ending date on their contract then they would be entitled to 1% of the base price of salmon caught up to the time that the crewmember quits. That payment is made after the end of the season at the Captain's discretion.
Why is the quitting policy so strict?
Needless to say this is not a friendly policy, especially if one chooses to quit before the Fishing Periods actually begin (as 1% of nothing = nothing) and it is in place to simply convey the fact that a crew member is relied upon by everyone to learn his/her necessary skills, and if this person leaves, we all have to pick up the slack. We invest a lot of time and energy into choosing you to be a part of our crew and training you as much as possible in order to make you a safe and important part of our crew and so when someone quits, it puts strain on all of us, and costs us all money.
What does it take to be a Commercial Fisherman/Fisherwoman?
Willingness to work hard and learn, the ability to keep a good attitude, being a team player, staying calm in stressful or dangerous circumstances and having a sincere desire to stay the duration of the season and complete your Commercial Fishing adventure. Many people think that the money is what makes the fisherman, but the more seasoned veterans (Old Salts) of the water will tell you that it takes more than dollar signs to keep you going, especially when you are near physical and mental exhaustion. You have got to want to do this, or at least the opportunity to experience it before you can truly call yourself an Alaskan Commercial Fisherman/Fisherwoman.
What is the best part of working in Alaska?
The best part of this unique experience is the deep appreciation of Alaska you'll have, as well as the chance to work in this magnificent environment. You'll even have a story or two to tell your friends & family when you leave our great state...that is, if you decide to leave!
What is the best part of working at P.A.S.?
A guarantee to all that have worked here at P.A.S. is that you will leave here with a newfound strength, both physically and mentally, that will not leave you throughout your journey in life.