Stories from Young Fishermen

The Alaska Young Fishermen's Almanac Vol. II is hot off the press! This little book contains art, recipes, stories, photos, mischief, and advice from and for young fishermen, providing a glimpse of fishing livelihoods across Alaska and beyond.

Produced by the Alaska Young Fishermen's Network with support from the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, and printed using the proceeds from the first volume, Vol. II is the newest addition to the family of literature focused on Alaska's commercial fishing communities. We are especially in love with this edition because it was designed by our talented fishing friend, Oceana Wills – whose ocean art makes every house and boat a home. 

This project captures the ingenuity, persistence, humor and passion of the next generation of community and fishing leaders in Alaska and conveys the importance of community-based fishing livelihoods - made for and by the young people harvesting wild Alaska seafood.

You can pick up a copy of the Almanac in Anchorage, the Mat-Su or Fairbanks, or on our webshop. Thank you for supporting the development of educated and engaged young fishermen and helping them to take on leadership roles within their communities and fisheries.

Alaska's Young Fishermen

We love hearing from our fellow young fishermen about their experiences as harvesters of wild food in Alaska. Every week on our social media channels, we share the stories submitted by young commercial fishermen who live, work, and rely on the ocean. They are a hardworking, tenacious and resourceful bunch and their experiences and backgrounds are unique. A common thread that we see weaving together these many stories, however, is a deep respect for Alaska's natural resources, love for community & crew, and pride in their catch. Below are two profiles submitted by Dylan Peterson, a seiner in Southeast Alaska, and the Welles brothers who gillnet in upper Cook Inlet - read on!

Young Fisherman Dylan Peterson 
FV Atlantis, South East Seine
@dyl.pete

What (or who) got you hooked on fishing?
"My family got me hooked on fishing. I grew up being a pest on my family boat during the summer fishing months. Once I turned 13/14 I started to commit as a full time crew member. I quickly realized fishing could support my winter skiing habits. I haven’t spent a full summer away from the water since."

What keeps you coming back each season?
"Southeast AK is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The scenery and places I get to see are a favorite part of my summers. The people involved are family. They make it a community in which I am proud to be a part of."

What is the most important thing commercial fishing has taught you?
"The most important thing commercial fishing has taught me is how work ethic and perseverance are strengths that one can carry through every aspect of life."

Share something about yourself that you're proud of when you're out fishing. What are your strengths? How would your crew describe you?
"When my siblings and I unexpectedly got thrown into running our family boat, I was a bit hesitant about the extent of our knowledge and how well we would be able to take over the business. After the first couple of years, I have exceeded my own expectations when it comes to what I am capable of. I was pleasantly surprised with how deep my knowledge of the fishery actually was and how much I had retained from the years and years of working for my dad."

Tell us about your favorite galley meal or seafood recipe.
"My favorite seafood meal would have to be a super top secret salmon recipe from my uncle Chuck, who used to be the chef on our boat when I was growing up. It is a sort of home made light barbecue sauce drizzled on grilled salmon. My favorite meal to make while fishing, is anything in a burrito."

What do you do with your down time on the water? Tell us how you pass the time during breaks and closures.
"I typically read quite a few books when we are stuck on the boat. I really enjoy cooking complex meals and treats when I have the time. If we can get on land, I’ll be out hiking, running, playing frisbee, golfing, and soaking in hot springs."

When you close your eyes and think about fishing, what do you see?
"When I close my eyes and think about fishing I see family, smiles, serene ocean, many fish, and cotton candy skies."

What is the best advice you've been given as you embarked on your fishing career? What advice would you give to other young fishermen?
"Fishing is a fast operation with a lot of moving parts. Move with intent." 

 

Young Fishermen Benson and Coleman Welles
FV Omar, Upper Cook Inlet
@ramofisheries

What (or who) got you hooked on fishing?
"Our parents got us hooked on fishing. We grew up fishing on their boat in Cook Inlet. It's always felt like such an adventure and such an amazing way to engage with people. So serious and yet fun and exciting at the same time."

Share something about yourself that you're proud of when you're out fishing. What are your strengths? How would your crew describe you?
"I'm proud of my family. I'm proud of my brother. We ran the boat together a couple of summers ago and it was such a pleasure. We didn't have to say a word and everything would get done the exact right way. We like to chit chat and joke around when it's slow and when it's time to work we like to work."

What keeps you coming back each season?
"I can't think of any more interesting, challenging or generally rewarding kind of work. For us fishing is about sharing time with our family and friends and working together."

Tell us about your favorite galley meal or seafood recipe.
"We have a drip oil stove on the boat and it stays at about 250 degrees. Toss in a pink salmon with some salt and pepper. Some number of hours later pull it out and put it on a piece of bread with some Tabasco sauce and you have a delicious fresh humpy sandwich."

What is the most important thing commercial fishing has taught you?
"The most important thing commercial fishing has taught me is that we need to protect our finite resources. Salmon are awe inspiring and being a part of the natural world as a fisherman instills a sense that we need to protect this way of life in order to give something beautiful to future generations."

What do you want the world to know about your work as a fisherman and the seafood you harvest?
"We want to be able to pass this amazing way of life on to the next generation. Being a fisherman is wonderful and so is the seafood we catch. Everyone should eat wild Alaskan salmon."

What is the best advice you've been given as you embarked on your fishing career? What advice would you give to other young fishermen?
"You've got to have a healthy amount of optimism to be a fisherman and it's good to have optimism. Fishing is great you should go for it! We've gotten a lot of great advice from many great fisherman."

〰️ 〰️ 〰️

Complete our online form for a chance to have your story featured.

If you're interested in learning more about opportunities for young fishermen, the Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit is happening this month in Juneau, Alaska January 21st - 23rd. It's a three-day networking and skill-building conference for new entrants in managing modern commercial fishing businesses. Even if you're an experienced young fisherman, this is a great way to meet other young folks and mentors in the industry.

← Older Post Newer Post →


Comment


  • Flora the Fisher and I are thrilled to be included in Vol. 2 of the Young Fishermen’s Almanac! Thanks so much.

    Rebecque Asher on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published