Boat life

A Day in Bristol Bay

Boat mornings are not too different from a morning in central Pennsylvania or Jackson Hole. There’s the slow rise of the sun, the hot coffee, greetings from nearby friends or family. But, on the boat in the middle of Bristol Bay, there’s something else…a little something else that makes the summer feel special. 

On Bristol Bay mornings, there’s engine room checks, tide-table readings, radio listening then there’s the coffee and oatmeal. Very quickly afterwards, the stillness of morning is replaced by hydraulic motors, lapping tides, chatting crew, radio talk and the swishy sound of salmon landing in the boat’s refrigerated seawater bins.

Somewhere between that quiet time and the action of a fishing set, there comes an indescribable moment. It’s not far from that feeling of waking up disoriented, in a place you don’t recognize. In that moment, the understanding that you are one of the lucky few who gets to call this work, or July, or livelihood appears. It’s the space in the day when you realize you are witness to the astonishing phenomenon of one of the world’s last wild food sources, one that is becoming more and more unique. 

This is why when we spend so much of our year talking about the just six or seven weeks that we spend on the water. There’s just something about it, and we welcome you to be apart of it by enjoying the gift of salmon that this work provides. 

Reserve your share of 2019 salmon today: prideofbristolbay.com.

Thank you

Thank You from the Pride of Bristol Bay Crew

We want to extend a wholehearted thank you to everyone who has purchased wild-caught sockeye salmon through Pride of Bristol Bay this season. It was quite a year, and your support means the world to us. It wouldn’t have been a success without you!

We’re getting ready to head up to Alaska (spoiler alert: we can’t wait to get fishing), because, believe it or not, the 2019 season is almost upon us! The run is expected to be great this year – possibly not quite as large as last year – but we will certainly be returning with more than enough to share.

If you have a freezer full of salmon and are in need of recipes, head over to our blog. We have some great recipes, as well as articles full of tips, tricks, and updates from the crew here at Pride of Bristol Bay. Additionally, head on over to prideofbristolbay.com and hover over “The Daily Catch” to read the articles of interest. Lastly, if you live in one of the buying club locations, pre-orders are open. Click here for more information on dates and locations.

Once more, we would like to extend a warm THANK YOU to everyone who continues to support Bristol Bay and the fight against Pebble Mine [http://www.savebristolbay.org/]. We hope to see you this fall!

Bristol Bay Alaska

Wheels Up: Bristol Bay Bound

Captain Steve spent last week in Naknek, Alaska, the F/V Ava Jane’s winter home. This time of year, the boatyard is crawling out of its winter hibernation. In a month, it will be bustling with activity, especially at high tide, as boat after boat gets launched into the bay in order to start fishing.

Steve wanted to get a head start on a few boat projects, so he headed up early, to prepare on a quiet boatyard, where he can get some work done, instead of visiting with the whole fleet at the cannery Mug-Up. To get a taste of the tundra landscape at the coastal Bristol Bay boatyard days, check out this video that Filson made in the Dillingham boatyard last year.  

As of recently, the overall state forecast for wild Alaska salmon is exceptional: experts predict a catch of 213.2 million fish statewide. In Bristol Bay, the 2018 season broke records – the sockeye salmon harvest was 10% above predictions and the largest seen on record. Last year will be a tough year to beat. However, experts are still predicting historically large returns following a banner year, and a 2019 forecast of 40.18 million sockeye returning to Bristol Bay. This is still 16% above the average run (1963-2018). Most importantly, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game predictions expect “all [Bristol Bay river systems] to meet their spawning escapement goals,” meaning that the health of the overall run and ecosystem is looking sustainably strong. We are thrilled.

No matter the forecast, the pre-season work remains the same. The boatyard is waking up, and the salmon are heading back to their original spawning grounds. The Pride of Bristol Bay team is getting ready to fish!

May 2019 Pebble Mine Update

This week we are celebrating a small victory in the fight against Pebble Mine! Thanks to the efforts of many individuals, the public comment period has been extended an extra 30 days!

At Pride of Bristol Bay, we believe it is essential to celebrate the small victories within this fight of our lives to protect Bristol Bay. The whole Bristol Bay community– you included!– now has until June 29th to collect as many signatures as we can to tell the Army Corps of Engineers that their Draft EIS statement is insufficient and send a strong signal that we believe in the environmental sustainability of Bristol Bay. You can do that right now, click here!

Significantly, this is also encouraging news coming from the Alaska Senatorial offices of Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, who have both been previously wishy-washy on the Pebble Mine issue. It is hopeful that both have spoken out with this concern, and we will continue to pressure them to listen to the majority of their constituents during the next year or more of this process.

That being said, Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay (CFBB) are demanding more and calling this skinny 30-day extension a “slap in the face.” CFBB Representative and Dillingham resident Holly Wysocki shared the following in the Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay press release.

“An extra 30 days does nothing to change the fact that Pebble’s federal permitting process is fundamentally flawed, including a Draft EIS with unacceptable information gaps. There is not enough real substance in the Draft EIS to warrant this process moving forward any further, which is why Bristol Bay’s commercial fishermen continue to request that the Army Corps suspend this process until our questions and concerns are addressed,” said Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay representative and local resident Holly Wysocki. “We risk our lives fishing each summer in Bristol Bay; the least we deserve is a fair and rigorous permitting process.”

Learn more about Holly and her family in this video. We look forward to sharing more fishermen’s stories with you this spring and summer. Submit your comment today! Additionally, we have extended the sale of our Wildly Devoted Dinner Box. Order one today and join us in being Wildly Devoted. We threw a dinner party and had a great time – time to plan that June BBQ to bring friends and family together around this important issue. Eat well and bring meaning to your meal.

We Hosted A Party. Here’s What You Need to Know!

Hi there, I’m Candy, a wild salmon lover and a big supporter of Pride of Bristol Bay. As we talk about the threat of Pebble Mine, I’m not sure how you feel about it, but I would hope your thoughts mirror my feelings. The possibility of losing the world’s most beautiful and plentiful sockeye salmon watershed is terrifying. So, we told our friends about it. My husband and I then hosted 12 of our friends to talk about the threat of Pebble, as well as share the bounty of Bristol Bay, Alaska.

The feedback was unanimous, “Why is this even a thought?” We heard that question quite a few times throughout the evening. So, from the moment that our first friends showed up, to the moment the last friends left, we had a great evening of educating, discussing, and indulging.

The takeaway and the FAQ’s from the evening.

First, we heard that the smoked salmon and dip was the best our friends had ever had (Bravo, Captain Steve!). Then we heard that the salmon was the most flavorful, yet not over powering, salmon they had eaten. Not to mention the color blew most of them away. Generally speaking, everyone knew about the beauty of wild caught Alaskan sockeye salmon, but to experience it in the context of the Pebble threat really put it into perspective for most.

Second, we were being asked “what can we do to help?” That answer was simple, and you can do it as well. Visit savebristolbay.org to take action and sigh up for updates so that you’re in the know, and can spread the word among your friend groups.

Question 1: Why is this even conversation today? Savebristolbay.org explains it best!

Question 2: Why in Bristol Bay? Along with being a watershed plentiful with sockeye salmon, there are also precious metals in the land around Bristol Bay.

Question 3: What is the big deal? If Pebble receives their permit and breaks ground, it would pave the way for many other mines.

Question 4: Would this mine also impact the animals in the area? Yes, Bristol Bay is huge, and is home to numerous birds of prey, brown bears, and other fish. All of which would be impacted greatly by the mine.

Question 5: How can we get more of this delicious salmon that you cooked for us tonight? Visit prideofbristolbay.com and have the choice of ordering portions or fillets, delivered directly to your door.

To sum it up, your voice does matter! We were shocked by the engagement and knowledge from our friends about Pebble. Continue to spread the word and help us fight a battle worth fighting.

Buy your wildly devoted dinner box here.

Wildly Devoted Pride of Bristol Bay

With 2019 underway, Pride of Bristol Bay is celebrating another successful year of business. From the very beginning, we’ve prioritized sustainably fishing for sockeye salmon in beautiful Bristol Bay, AK, along with serving a growing, loyal community. We’ve also maintained the highest standards for selling salmon and other high-quality seafood. It has been an honor and a privilege to share Pride of Bristol Bay with our customers.

Strengthening alongside our business is our devotion to wild salmon and the pristine environment that supports them. From the original trip to Alaska on a whim — to agreeing to captain a boat, to getting a permit, and finally acquiring the F/V Ava Jane – we have always understood that investing in the fishery is equally as important to invest in the environment. But beyond passion, conservation of the environment is also driven by economics. Fishing in Bristol Bay demonstrates the area’s worth, and protecting this sacred space is of utmost importance.

“PEOPLE TAKE FOR GRANTED THE AMAZING RENEWABLE RESOURCE OF WILD SALMON AND CLEAN WATER. WITH THE RISE OF THE PEBBLE MINE PROJECT, THE NEED TO PROTECT WILD SALMON HABITAT IS AT ITS MOST CRITICAL POINT IN MODERN TIMES.” -STEVE KURIAN

We are grateful for what the salmon and Bristol Bay have given us, and we are Wildly Devoted to this cause.

“IT MEANS MORE TO US THAN JUST OUR LIVELIHOOD, SO GIVING BACK THROUGH RAISING BOTH MONEY AND AWARENESS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO RIGHT NOW.” -JENN KURIAN

Through our Wildly Devoted program, Pride of Bristol Bay has been committed in giving back. We will continue to donate 1% of total sales to our friends at Trout Unlimited who are dedicated to preserving the Bay and advocating against projects, like Pebble Mine.

“After years of catching and selling salmon to wonderful customers, I know these people would want nothing more than to play a critical part in protecting the fish that nourish our body and souls. I hope this idea catches on and encourages fishermen, processors, and consumers to take action and donate to the protection of wild salmon habitat.” -Steve Kurian

From all of us at Pride of Bristol Bay, we thank you for your support, and for being Wildly Devoted alongside us.