A Breif History

 

Over a century ago, Harrys Great Grandfather Alexander Mitchelson, originaly a leather maker from Omeo, built himself a fishing boat and began fishing in the Gippsland Lakes catching mullet and Bream, Alexander would haul the nets by hand, this was at the beginning of the Gippsland  Fishing Indusry.

 

Harrys Grand Father Harold Mitchelson and Harrys father Kevin were both boat builder/s and fishermen. Kevin had been fishing for 72 years. along with his wife Mary, and his brother Frank and his wife Dora., for many of those years together in the Gippsland Lakes.

 

Before this though Kevin started fishing off shore at the age 11 to fill-in for crew that had gone to war, in the late 1930's. Kevin along with his brothers Frank and Jack caught salmon and were sold to a cannery in Melbourne then they were shipped overseas to the troops.

 

They fished for many years using a timber construced vessel 'Anchovette' and another vessel called the U77, beach seineing salmon,

for this you would row a dingy around one of the many schools of salmon that would come to Lakes Entrane and lay along the Beach,  

haul the nets back by hand and transfer them to the waiting salmon pens. the fish would stay alive in the pens untill there was a truck

available to take the fish to Melbourne. this type of fishing is still used Nation wide.

Kevin and Frank were also part of a company whom built a  fish meal  plant on Bullock island designed to make anchovy paste, in the

1960's the Anchovette and then later Maasbanker and Daggerard were able to unload fresh fish directy into the plant. 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                            The MAASBANKER was built is Lakes Entrance By Brothers Franks and Kevin Mitchelson, and

                                                                                           Launched in 1968, Harry and his brother Ron were sent to help with the constructionof the

                                                                                            boat in between going to school, learning boat building trade.

                                                                                            In the 60's launching a boat of her size in a rural town was rare, Maasbanker is one of

                                                                                            the oldest still working boats of her contruction in Lakes Entrance

 

                                                    

 

 

 

  Kevin has alway been a keen fish spotter, this involves 

  training your eyes to see different shapes  and patterns in the                                              

  the water from an aroplane ,a technique that has been handed

  down the generations to Harry and his daughter Lynda,                                          

  Harry has also been showing her 8 year old granddaughter Dayle

  how to see the fish.

 

                                                          

Harry and his three sibbling grew up on the water having a house on Marine Parade overlooking the back water of Lakes  Entrance. Harry  as child used a small net with brother Ron to catch Mullet in the lake and sell them to the shops for pocket money.

 

Brothers Harry and Ron began team fishing in the seventies and eightys on two boats Maasbanker and

Daagerard built by Kevin and Frank, Catching Salmon, Bluefin Tuna,

anchovies for pecks anchovy paste and scallops. 

 

Harry and Ron opened their processing plant in 1984 with their wives, Jennifer and Liz. the factory was

designed to freeze large quantities of fish, and the two brothers got a contract to supply pilchards to

australias largest petfood company.

They started with approx 5 staff, but when the fishing is good they now employ 30 full-time and

casual staff in Don Road Lakes Entrance, the fish are caught localy by our own vessels predominately

‘MAASBANKER’.

 

Over 100 Years on, Harry, his children and grandchildren are continuing to 

                                           Grow a century old tradion.

Anchovette

A Short Story

By Joy Seevres ( Mitchelson)

2013

Mitchelson Fisheries Pty Ltd

Lakes Entrance, Victoria

 

© 2013 MItchelson Fisheries Pty Ltd

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Anchovette and U77 Crew 60's.jpg