Duluth's Charter Fishermen Express Reservations over Minnesota Slip Proposal

By KBJR News 1

August 9, 2013 Updated Aug 9, 2013 at 11:51 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - When it comes to the latest proposal on the future of the Minnesota Slip, in Duluth, charter fishermen hope they won't be left high and dry in the process.

A new proposal from the City of Duluth aims to solve a few costly issues surrounding the slip that is currently home to the William A. Irvin and a significant number of charter fishing vessels.

According to Mayor Don Ness, these issues include a failing sea wall, the ever–failing Blue Slip bridge, and contamination control within the slip.

In total, the problems would cost$13 million to fix.

A possible solution, says Mayor Ness, could involve dismantling the Blue Slip bridge, moving the William A. Irvin to slip number three, on the west side of Bayfront park in the Duluth harbor, and filling in the Minnesota Slip to make room for more Canal parking.

But according to Captain Peter Dahl, of Happy Hooker Charters, the city has not contacted them directly on their future if the slip were to be filled in.

Captain Dahl says he'd be open to the idea of relocating, as long as the city was willing to provide the appropriate space, facilities, and publicity for their charters.

Yet he says he still has some reservations.

"..but, I do think that Duluth is a waterfront community, and filling in slips is... going in the wrong direction, because you'll never make a new one," said Capt. Dahl.

The city's current plan does include the option of building a new marina, complete with break wall, behind Grandma's Sportsgarden.

It also raises the option of relocating the charter boats along a parallel pier to the William A. Irvin's possible new location.