June 12, 2005

Sold my fish off the dock to our Juneau customers yesterday. Then laoded the remainder into fish totes, and used a homebuilt power cart to push the fish up the dock and onto the pickup truck. We built the contraption out of a snow blower (sans the blower attachment) and a t wheel dolly frame – both given to me just because the givers knew we were trying to invent something. Bob, our resident welding friend, then took things dfrom there to make the unit operational. It still needs refinement, but is easier than pushing the fish by hand like I used to. You’d think in a town like Juneau, there would be things like a crane to do this work. Our Harbor Board, however, has taken just about every opportunity to remove infrastructure vital to the commercial fishing industry in favor of new infrastructure for the cruise ship tourism industry. What’s even more frustrating is that they receive fish tax money directly from me, yet continue to discourage small boat fishermen from o!
perating in Juneau. I’m thinking about running for our local city assembly to give folks like us a voice in the town.

After offloading, I had a good hour of email correspondence. Then a weekly dinner with our friends in Juneau where we supply a fish, and they do the cooking. After that, I dropped off a fish at the Glory Hole, our local homeless shelter run by a friend. Then finally home to see how much fish we had to ship out, then how many customer orders on our waiting list we could fill. Next, I called those customers to schedule delivery. The next morning, I was up at 6 to begin boxing up mail-order items. Then to the processor to ship fish to a restaurant in Fairbanks owned by a family from my tiny hometown of Bolivar in western New York state. Next to the airport to ship fish, then the post office to mail the mailorder items, next to the grocery store for fruit and peanut butter and jelly and bread – my boat staples. Then a drop off of smoked salmon to a friend for his mom, and to borrow more books for the week to read. Finally, stopped to pick up some bait and gear, and down t!
o the boat. A final call to a friend who is shipping out my fish for me so ai don’t have to wait in town for it to be filleted first.

Every trip turnaround is like this. Almost impossible to get business done in one day and get back fishing. It’s the primary difference between being a fisherman and running a fishing business.

Mark Stopha
F/V Dutch Master
Alaska Wild Salmon Co
4455 N Douglas Hwy
Juneau, Alaska 99801

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