City of Port Orford and its Fishermen

Our Community

ocean_shorePort Orford is the oldest town on the Oregon Coast and the most westerly in the 48 states.  It’s not a stretch to say it rains sideways here sometimes!  Our port is a working commercial fishing port and we have and active and talented art community.  Port Orford is a great place for visitors who want to enjoy spectacular natural beauty without the crowds.

Picture 009 (2)The Port of Port Orford is a unique port in the heart of town.  The first thing you will see as you come down the hill to the dry, high dock are the large yellow cranes.  The second thing you will notice is the lack of a harbor.  Port Orford is home to the only “dry dock” on the West Coast, where fishing vessels are launched and retrieved using the crane.  The boats are then stored on homemade dollies.  Come down and visit, but be careful!  This is a working port, so watch out for the fish!

Our Fishermen

Chris AielloChris Aiello-  Chris moved to the West Coast from North Jersy in 1978 and has been fishing ever since.  On summer break from college, he had an opportunity to try commercial fishing and made more money in one day than he would see as a laborer in two weeks.  He’s been with it ever since.  Chris built the F/V J&C in 1996.  It’s the fifth boat that he’s built.  “Being in the fishing industry you do a lot of the boat work yourself.  I bought a fiberglass hull and two bulk heads and finished her out.  I named her the J&C because it’s the initials of my two daughters, Jacqulyn and Christina.”  Chris has one crewmember that he works with and they fish for Black Cod, Chinook Salmon, Pacific Halibut, live fish, and Dungeness Crab.  During crab season, Chris runs with two crewmembers.

NICK BORDELON

NICK BORDELON

Nick Bordelon- Growing up, Nick always felt a strong connection to nature and the ocean in particular.  He has been sport fishing his entire life and at the age of 19, he made fishing his career.  After marrying in 2006, Nick and Anne Bordelon, along with their son Josh, started their fishing business with Nick’s simple philosophy that “you can’t catch fish sitting on the dock.”  Nick’s hard work has paid off and with the help of family and friends, the Bordelons’ own two fishing vessels and launched Fresh Off the Dock.

DARRELL COBB

DARRELL COBB

Darrell Cobb- Darrell Cobb is a 2nd generation fisherman.  He started fishing with his dad when he was eight years old.  Darrell has lived in Port Orford all of his life.  He bought the F/V Eagle III in 2005.  The Eagle III is a 40 ft. plywood and fiberglass hull.  Glenn Burkhow runs the boat as captain with other crew members.  They fish nearshore for Black Cod, Albacore Tuna, Pacific Halibut, and Dungeness Crab.  When Darrell is not fishing, he likes to spend time with his family, hunt, fish on the river, dig for clams, and watch football.

 

DanyKeeler_sq[1]Danny Keeler- Personal motto: “Don’t do today what you can do tomorrow!”  Danny was born in Roseburg, OR in 1948 and he has been fishing commercially since 1969.  He is a member of the Fisherman’s Board for the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT).  Danny became involved with POORT because “it’s for a good cause.  We need to get the fishermen organized to get involved with the fisheries.  There are not enough people to do that.”  Danny owns the F/V Dominion, co-captained by his brother Lyle Keeler, and crewed by his nephew William Pennington.  They pursue Black Cod, Dungeness Crab, Chinook Salmon, Albacore Tuna, and Pacific Halibut.

IMG_0301[1]Lyle Keeler- Lyle is the co-captain of the F/V Dominion.  Lyle was born in Roseburg, OR and started fishing with his uncle.  When his brother Danny decided to become a fisherman, he started working with him.  That was 38 years ago.  Lyle became a part of the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT) because of Leesa Cobb.  Leesa has some ideas about sustainability and she wasn’t alone in her thought process.  “I felt like POORT was the only chance we had to have a sustainable fishery.  At the time, we thought we had no chance, but now we’re firmly convinced that we do.”

FishAaron Longton- Personal motto: “A good captain weathers the storms he cannot avoid, and avoids the storms he cannot weather.”  Aaron is the President of the Fishermen’s Board of the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT).  Aaron is a salmon fisherman first, but he also has a tier three Black Cod permit.  He longlines for halibut and Black Cod.  He also fishes nearshore and goes off shore for tuna when they’re around.  Aaron owns two fishing vessels; the Goldeneye and the Sea Forest.  Aaron’s deckhand is Ron Dean.  Aaron was born in Roseburg, OR and started fishing when he was eight years old.  He started commercial fishing in 2000.  Aaron became involved with POORT because “I was disenchanted with the regulatory system and saw POORT as a vehicle to try and correct some of the problems.

JEFF MILES

JEFF MILES

Jeff Miles- Personal motto: “It will be fine.”  Jeff is also a member of the Fisherman’s Board for the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT).  He joined POORT “because I was frustrated with the way the fishing industry regulations were happening and I thought maybe we could help and make a difference somewhere.”  Jeff was born in Gold Beach, OR and has been fishing since the 8th grade in 1973.  He owns the F/V Top Gun and works with Chad Clampit.  They are commercial crabbers and also fish for bottom fish, Chinook Salmon, Albacore Tuna, Pacific Halibut, and Black Cod.

 

JOEL PURKEY

JOEL PURKEY

Joel Purkey- Born and raised in Port Orford, Joel has been fishing for 17 years and has never been sea sick.  Joel started fishing when he was 16 years old.  He works three boats: Desert Storm, Spirit, and Misty.  All of his boats were made locally in Port Orford.  He fishes for sablefish, nearshore rockfish, Albacore Tuna, Chinook Salmon, and primarily Dungeness Crab.  “You have to diversity to make it.”