Cranberry Heaven

Ron and I worked in Haines on Monday, visiting a couple islands in the Chilkat River with Scott from the regional aquaculture assn. and Mark from the local ADFG office.  We were assessing the potential for construction of spawning channels in the river islands, creating new spawning habitat for chum salmon, mostly.  The first island had more high bush cranberries than I’ve ever seen.  It was a canopy of cottonwood trees with a solid undergrowth of cranberries.   It even smelled like cranberry under there. The berries weren’t ripe yet, so it might be worth a trip back up in a month to pick some.  Only problem is that by that time, the island could be crawling with brown bears getting the late season chum salmon.  At least I got an idea of where to look for cranberries here.

Ron and I each butchered our own catch.  The new fillet knife I bought made short, beautiful work of the sockeye sides, which I took to a local processor to smoke.  Ron and I gave many of our fish away to the wife of a friend who is in jail, and another who is ill.  The wife loaded us up with jam, sprucetip syrup, smoked fish and fish burgers from earlier drops of fish to her.   Ron and I dropped the outboard we bought for a friend when we were in Haines and shipped it to her in Yakutat at air cargo.    I also changed out the proportioning valve on the truck last night and we’ll bleed it today and hope that was the problem after the master cylinder was not.  Busy day.

Mark Stopha
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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