Fishing is a career unlike any other. Those who stick with it were born to do it - even if they weren't born into it. But it's not an easy career to get into anymore. Today's fisheries face unprecedented challenges - including barriers to entry in licensing, a shortage of training and financing opportunities, an unsupportive regulatory environment, and an ever more stressed and changing marine ecosystem.

These challenges make me all the more grateful to those who have welcomed me into this industry by giving me a spot on deck and exposing me to new gear types and fisheries. I'm especially grateful to other women in the industry, even those I don't personally know, because they have paved a path for the rest of us to find our calling in this line of work. 

My seasonal round starts on the shores of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island's salt ponds in winter, where I dry-dig for quahogs, oysters, and razor clams. Spring and fall usually find me setting conch pots in Narragansett Bay or filling in as a deckhand on one of Rhode Island's diverse fishing boats. In the summer, I migrate to the famed Bristol Bay, Alaska - promised land of salmon fishing - where I work on a gill netter, sometimes capping it off with a stint on salmon seine boats in other parts of Alaska. Fishing is a seasonally dynamic livelihood, and it never gets boring!

The photo at left shows me harvesting razor clams, one of the "best kept secrets" of New England shellfish.

Hey, Rhode Island captains! And deckhands needing a trip off! I am available for transit deckhand work from January-March 2019. Experienced deckhand on inshore lobster boats, oyster farm, fluke gillnetting in RI and salmon gillnetting in Alaska, and salmon seining in Alaska. Only done a couple trips on draggers, but eager to learn. Open to both day and trip boats. Working around a part-time winter research project. Local to Point Judith and available at a moment's notice if I don't have other plans!


Sarah Schumann 

Fall - Spring (Rhode Island): (401)297-6273

Summer (Alaska): (907)843-3946