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1st of June Copper River Update

1st of June Copper River Update

The Short of It

Good News: 

Our award winning smoked salmon is in-stock and ready-to-ship!

Not So Good News: 

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we do not have access to the services that are necessary to produce our seafood products. Our homeport harbor is under construction and we are without fresh water, electric service and other basic amenities.

This situation is projected to continue beyond the short fishing season when we catch Copper River King and Sockeye Salmon. Because of this, we do not foresee being able to provide fresh or just-frozen options for either in 2024.

We understand this is difficult news to hear. We considered and closely evaluated all of our options trying to creatively devise possible workarounds. In the end, none were feasible.

We are incredibly disappointed with this situation and our hearts are heavy to disappoint you. 

The trust you place in us is not taken lightly. Nothing brings us more pleasure than providing you with premium quality (sea)food that is produced with integrity and is hopefully at least a touch more delicious than what you might find elsewhere. 

In recognition of the shortness of the Copper River King & Sockeye fishing season, we are sharing this information as quickly as possible so that you can make other arrangements as needed.

Truly, you are in our hearts. 

Best, Sarah & Rick 



The Long of It

All the News:

I am writing to you from our fishing boat. 

We’re just underway, leaving the chaos of our local boat harbor that is in the midst of a massive rebuilding construction project. 

As is always the case in our eco-aware, small-boat fishery, variances and unpredictability rein supreme.

Since the season start in mid-May our fishery openers have occurred four out of seven possible days. Our third closure of the fishing season will occur this upcoming Monday, 3rd of June. We are on stand-by to learn when the fishery will re-open again. 

Our harbor’s construction project’s completion date was originally forecast for early April. The timeline continues to be pushed back with the most recent estimate being late July at best. 

We consider ourselves lucky to be among the few boats that have been issued an assigned slip and are able to tie our boat up and leave it afloat in between fishing openers. Many of the fishers in our community do not have a place to tie up in the harbor. 

Unfortunately, just because we can tie our boat up does not mean our portion of the harbor is completed and in working order. There is no fresh water source and electricity is not available. Our docks remain temporarily lashed together and an active construction zone. 

Walking to our boat is possible but cart access is not. Any cart that we load going to, or coming from our boat must be unloaded and lifted by hand over a series of height differences, reloaded and unloaded and lifted again, several times along the way. Parking near the harbor is not permitted due to the heavy equipment moving about.

At times, the entire mouth of the harbor itself is blocked and impassable dependent on the cycle of the build out. Vacant dock sections that are not yet installed are banded together and floating in the center of the harbor awaiting placement. 

Each time we approach the harbor by vehicle or by boat when returning back to port after fishing, we try to slow an d lower our expectations and take it as it comes. Conditions change daily and hourly.

With the current obstacles in place we cannot imagine how we would be able to reliably get our catch out to our customers. Some level of predictability is necessary to produce a perishable product and of course water and electric are a part of the equation too.

Coming to this decision has not been an easy one but it makes the most sense for our micro-business. Heck, even the massive industrial fish processors didn’t start operations until May 1st this year. It’s a challenge for even the big ol’ companies. 

We are always moving and shifting to best serve our customer needs but this particular obstacle has left us at a loss for a solution. 


In other news, yet seemingly in tune with the delayed harbor project, our summer weather appears stuck in a holding pattern that is better suited to late April than early June. Mother Nature is plunking along at a pace we can neither predetermine or control. C,mon hurry up, bring the heat!

The malingering snow patch in our driveway is at last nearly gone, ocean temperatures remain below average, and our wood stove is ablaze daily. But there are some definite indicators of summer. Copper River Salmon are returning from the open ocean back to our river systems, hummingbirds are buzz bombing me regularly, berry blossoms are indicating that there are fruits to come.

We’re at about 20 hours of full daylight, not including the few short hours of deep dusk. Our night sky and stars have gone MIA for the time being and will continue their retreat until Summer Solstice when it all flips with a rush towards shorter days and dark autumn nights.

For me, our summer season somehow fully encompasses the contradictory feelings of being long and drawn out, but also short and brisk.

At times, completely monotonous. Each day/night/day nearly imperceptible from the last. With a seemingly eternity worth of grey toned sky, only the subtlest changes of light occur to indicate a new day beginning. Honestly, if you’re not careful you can miss it. 

But then, just when you’re lulled into forgetting it was ever any different, or believing it will ever change, suddenly we will have a sunny day that is unrivaled in beauty, just impossible to believe it could be any prettier. 

The sky blazes with fresh and clear air, charged with an other worldly electric blue, towering green forests offer stark contrast while springing upwards from snow dotted mountains that jut upward as if trying to touch the near blinding and brilliant sun that will set all in it’s path aglow for hours upon hours. So much time to soak it all in. But also a fading fast opportunity. 

On these days you will hear more birds calling than you knew existed, see young children riding their bikes in the sunlight at 10 pm, friends will call for an impromptu dinner at 9 pm and the usual reply is “gosh we just got in, perfect timing”, or just as likely we’ll work longer and harder than what should be humanly possible. During this time, entire trees will unfurl and bud out in a single prolonged summer day. It is an amazing spectacle to be a part of. 

These glorious days are so few and far between that all bets are off. Businesses will shut down, classes cancel, employees phone in sick, indoor plans of all kinds will be rescheduled. Wherever possible, people will make an adjustment to their day to get outside and enjoy the much needed sunshine and Vitamin C. It’s a glorious feeling. 

But today, it’s grey, grey ,grey and quite difficult to distinguish sky from ocean on the horizon line.

We’re at the high water point now, and as I mentioned, Rick (my beloved) and I are headed out of town now on the boat. We’re not headed out to go fishing. Instead our aim is to take a little R&R time, walk some vacant coastlines and beach comb for the occasional shell or other treasure that might wash up. 

It’s been a busy last few days, having last departed town on WED, fished on THUR and back to port just prior to midnight, then up early FRI for a full day on the boat with equipment repairs that required calling over fellow fishers for a good deal of trouble shooting and quite a bit of bullshooting too.  And today, SAT, we’ve packed and loaded our food and gear and off we go to feel the rain on our faces and stretch our legs.

We’ll be thinking of you, and of all the tumbles, turns and surprises each season of fishing continues to bring. Every year is so different and every day so varied that it’s kept things quite interesting. After a lifetime of fishing, I am still captivated by the process. At times quite disappointed, and other times immeasurably beyond elated. But no matter what, I am always captivated. 

Thinking of you! 

Best Fishes, Sarah 

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