June 14, 2007

Flew down to Wrangell on Tuesday to buy fish from my
brother in law. Although it was a expensive airfare,
I’m always apprehensive buying for the first time from
someone – even my brother in law. Turns out his fish
were real good. I gave him one pointer about
“milking” the blood from the belly walls, and that was
it. My neice said “all that extra work, just to make
the fish look nice?”. She’s only 14, but still- she’s
definitely out of the Will..

After we offloaded the fish at the crane, my neice
came up and helped me load all the fish into the fish
boxes so I could ship them up to my processor in
Juneau. After so many years on the boat, and even
through the make-up and braces, she’s all Craig,
Alaska, and is an experienced deck hand in handling

Wrangell was bustling with energy. They have a new
boat travel lift going in, and a public cold storage
under construction. Like other towns in the region,
they see a bright future in commercial fishing.
Unlike Juneau, which is letting it’s fleet go with the
highest harbor fees in the state and services that are
poor and getting worse. Our town is putting it’s
marbles in the state governement and ever growing
industrial cruiseship tourism, and letting their
commercial fleet leave. Pretty sad, but I’ve accepted
that that is the way it is. Only 21 percent of people
even bothered to vote in our recent election on
Tuesday – and that in a government town.

After getting all the fish to the airport, I returned
the truck borrowed from a friend, and hung-out at the
welding shop of our friend Dave Svensend, who is a
renowned boat builder in Alaska. Born and raised in
Wrangell, he was happy to live in a place where
everyone knows everyone, and no where in town is
longer than a 5 minute drive away. His 12 year old
grandson was busy putting together engine parts for a
skiff Dave promised he could drive when he was 12
years old. The promise was 2 years ago, and now Dave
is happy to help him put the boat together and get it
out. Great seeing a kid who has no worries about
picking up a wrench and putting things together.
It’ll be alot more useful than the GameBoy knowledge
is same-age peers are gaining elsewhere in America….

The fish arrived right on time in Juneau and I got
them all delivered or shipped out and now back to my
real job, which is both a relief and a burden.

Mark Stopha and Sara Hannan
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
Wild Salmon and Salmon Pet Treats
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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