Busy wharf at Larry’s River needs attention

By Lois Ann Dort    

LARRY'S RIVER – Last week lobster season started in Larry's River. For fishers that meant not only preparing gear but also honing their steering skills as it continues to be a tight fit for boats that tie-up at the wharf in Larry's River.

Two years ago The Journal covered the state of disrepair of the wharf in Larry's River; crumbling concrete, gaps between sections and a sediment-filled channel. Since that time, repairs have been made to the existing wharf and the main channel has been dredged. Roger Williams, a local fisherman, who sits on the board of directors of the Larry's River Harbour Authority, told The Journal they were pleased with the work but more needs to be done to ensure the continued survival of the fishery based in the area; an industry employing 100 to 120 people directly and indirectly.

As Williams sees it, the top priorities now are an expansion of the wharf and repairs to the breakwater. “If we can get the breakwater fixed it will redirect the water back into the channel,” said Williams.“Most infilling comes from the breakwater deteriorating over the years.”

Unlike many wharfs along the shore in Guysborough County, the Larry's River wharf is used year-round. WT Grover Fisheries Industries has a number of large boats there; a recent addition to their fleet has a width of 30 feet. With the lack of space at the wharf, Williams said, “Some of the bigger boats are laying in the bay waiting to tie-up.” Such delays can result in loss of income if the catch is not delivered to shore in a timely fashion.

With such tight quarters for tie-up, Williams said, “Thank God everyone works well together.”

Williams wants to get the word out that work has been done but more is needed. “Our breakwater and space, those are the two things we want to get done in the next two years. Our local MLA, MP and local council; they are definitely trying to help us...We are making gains but we have to make people aware that we need a little more.”

Williams said, “It is probably the best untold story of the fishery, what gets moved out of Larry's River.” And he wants to make sure that success continues, which means these problems have to be addressed soon.