Kings County — While many flood victims in southern New Brunswick have felt up the creek this spring, two industrious brothers are blowing their fiddlehead harvesting targets out of the water.
Alan and Lane Lochard grew up picking fiddleheads and scuba-diving in the waters around their hometown close to the Belleisle Bay. But, they never expected to be combining those two passions to become the kingpins of the flooded fiddlehead fields.
“Oh yeah, I mean Alan and me have always been right good at diving,” smiled Lane Lochard. “We used to go diving in the Bay and found all sorts of things dropped off of the boats. In high school, we mostly did it to find free Alpines, but as we got older we did it to find more expensive beers too.”
A good portion of the brothers’ spring beer budget comes from their lifelong devotion of harvesting and selling fiddleheads to the local market. This year, their competition has been scarce due to the record levels of spring flooding.
“Usually, you have to get out there really early in your rubber boots to the best spots before anyone else does,” Alan explained. “People are really protective of their areas, but this year it’s all under two metres of water. So, that’s where we come in, and we’re hauling them in by the bucketful. We hit the jackpot!”
“This is a really stupid and horrible idea,” said Bernard Crue, from the NB Emergency Measures Organization. “People should not be doing this, and I definitely wouldn’t eat those fiddleheads. You have no idea what’s in that flood water, but here’s a hint…it’s definitely not Perrier water! Gross!”
Despite the warning, the Lochard brothers are undeterred. “So far we have no buyers,” said Lane, “but we’re hoping that it turns around soon. We are running low on our free Alpine from the Bay, and they don’t accept fiddleheads at the liquor store.
“Trust us, we’ve tried!”