A troller called last evening, and said he was coming into Juneau and did I want to buy his fish. He and I kind of grew up together fishing. I asked him about his fish – were they iced or FAS, had he raked the belly walls, did he pressure bleed them. All looked good. He said he’d be in late in the evening. I told him the tide was a minus tide at 945 am, so let’s do it after that, and to call me in the morning when he’s in and ready to offload.
I wake early today. I clean and sanitize all my fish totes. I’m ready to go. I do some errands in the morning. I leave a message on his cell about 10 am that I’m ready whenever he is. I leave another message about 1130 am. I then call his step dad, who I used to work with. He’s thoroughly confused, because he said he just sent his son out to Elfin Cove to fish with his brother.
About 1230 noon, I return home, and my wife is just getting off the phone with the boat I was supposed to meet. There was a king salmon bite on the coast, so he had left for that.
This was all fine, except I ‘d already notified customers and processors to be ready for a load of fish. I then had to email all my customers expecting fish, and let them no there were no fish now.
This got me thinking of how much I’d learned in the past 6 years. As a direct marketer, I would have known all that is involved in a delivery – from having fish totes ready, and processors in place and customers lined up for delivery. But for those who only fish, they just think of delivery as routine. If I don’t show up today, then no big deal. I’ll just come in when I want to and sell my fish. This, of course, works for the big processors who send their fish to distributers, but not for me, who sell fish directly to customers. So, I’ll have to drop this boat for now. He certainly doesn’t get it.
So, I hope to get to the Stikine and fish with my brother in law next week. Not sure if the ferry schedule will work, but we’ll see.
Mark Stopha and Sara Hannan
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
Wild Salmon and Salmon Pet Treats
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801