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!

A Note for You, Pride of Bristol Bay Customers

Dear Pride of Bristol Bay customers,

Likely you have noticed some changes in recent months with our fisherman-owned, Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon company. Via our National Home Delivery program, those of you who have ordered more than likely have noticed those shipments coming from Bloomsburg, PA. Pride of Bristol Bay has joined up with another family & fisherman-owned, sustainable seafood company called Wild for Salmon, who share Pride of Bristol Bay’s high sustainability standards but also more general business philosophies and the desire to bring wild salmon to more people at an affordable price while supporting the environment from which they come.

“It has been a privilege for the past 5 years to share the story of Bristol Bay and help all of you adorn your dinner tables with wild caught Bristol Bay sockeye. With that said, I’m honored to introduce you to a new pair of Salmon Champions!” – Pride of Bristol Bay Founder Matt Luck

Our names are Steve & Jenn Kurian, and we are excited to introduce ourselves as the new owners of Pride of Bristol Bay.

We cooked up this idea with Matt on the banks of a Bristol Bay river, weeks after the commercial fishing season had ended, after we’d both caught up on sleep and were beginning to switch gears to our respective direct markets. We will share more about our original family-owned business, our 15+ years of gillnetting in Bristol Bay and our love of wild salmon as well as our east-coast roots in the coming months. Today we want to, more importantly, assure all of you that we share the same passionate commitment to Bristol Bay and its amazing wild salmon run with Matt & the team at Pride of Bristol Bay….which is why we, and our companies, are Wildly Devoted.

Please feel free to respond to this email with comments or questions and know that we are looking forward to getting to know many of you in the coming months while continuing to share the same great product you have all come to love. Thank you for embracing us and our salmon-fueled family business with open arms and to the Luck family for trusting us.

Our very best,

Matt, Steve & Jenn