Scott Rushnak was born in Chatham and started shellfishing when he was 13 on a junior shellfishing license. He has done gillnet fishing and lobstering, but he always returns to harvesting mussels when he can. When there is a wild crop he goes musseling every year, but at times there are pauses for a year or two as the mussel sets rebuild in new areas. Scott uses a 31-foot boat with a small dredge and works on the sandy bottom to pull the mussels up. On the boat, he has a tumbler that separates the mussels and washes them. He bags them and puts them in barrels to purge and delivers them fresh to market every day.
"Mussels grow in natural cycles. When they are abundant, we've got great markets both right here on the Cape and in big food cities like Boston and New York. In the down cycles, farmed product from Prince Edward Island often takes over the markets. Our winning edge is that wild mussels taste better, so it is usually pretty easy to get back into the market when they are available."
In the News
"Meet the fisherman: Scott Rushnak, mussel man," The Cape Codder, January 25, 2013