After graduating high school, Chris did what was expected of him and went to college. But when he stepped on campus, Chris knew something wasn’t quite right. Nothing he could learn at school could compare to a career he’d already learned to love – being a lobsterman.
Chris started fishing with his grandfather, Skeeter Welch, when he was 6 years old. By 8, he obtained his student license, and he got his first skiff – Shitpoke – at 14 years old.
“I wasn’t allowed to swear around my grandmother, but Shitpoke was what we always called the blue heron cranes, so I could get away with it,” said Chris. “At age 14, I thought it was kind of great.”
Despite having his own boat, Chris still sought out every opportunity to fish with the man who taught him everything he knew. He invited his grandfather to go fishing as he got older and even bought his boat, Kristy II (named after his grandfather’s granddaughter).
“He went with me right up until he couldn’t go anymore,” said Chris. Chris’ grandfather passed away in 2008 at age 72, but Chris still holds his memory with him when at sea. Chris named his last boat, a 35’ Duffy, Foolish Pride because his grandfather always said his foolish pride will get the best of him.
“My current boat is a 36’ Calvin Beal called Quality Time. When I was hauling with him and we weren’t catching anything, he’d say, ‘Yeah, but think of all the quality time we’re getting.’”
Chris lives and fishes year-round in Kennebunk with his wife Stevie and their two young boys. He’s lived in Kennebunk his whole life and has no plans to relocate. Between fishing and being a parent, Chris doesn’t have much free time, but he still manages to be a lieutenant in the Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Fire Department and sits on the board of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.
Favorite way to eat lobster?
Right out of the shell, no butter. “Right out of the shell, no butter. I’m a simple man.”
What is the best part of living in Maine?
“Maine is absolutely beautiful. It provides a clean and safe environment to raise my family and also offers a sustainable industry to work in.”
What makes you proud to go to work every day?
“When I go on the water, I feel free, along with a sense of accomplishment knowing my long day’s work is helping provide for my family.”
What is special to you about Maine Lobster or the Maine Lobster fishery?
“I take pride in carrying on a family tradition, and I think this fishery is special because every fisherman has the chance to be successful.”
Meet The People Behind the Fishery
A diverse group of people passionate about Maine and the lobster industry.