Thursday, October 16, 2014

Real Jobs news-O-matic feature; Not all fishermen are men!

Hey guess what?  I was featured today in News-O-Matic news app for kids!  NOM is a daily interactive news source for younger readers, bringing  current events and world news to their level in a fun and interactive way to encourage staying informed and reading.   Each week NOM features "real jobs", unique jobs from around the country.  This week, I was featured!  How cool is that?  Check it out!

Today's News-O-Matic, Oct 16, 2104

 “One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.” Dr. Seuss may have been thinking of 42-year-old Jen Pickett when he wrote this! Pickett works as a commercial fisherwoman in Cordova, Alaska. That means she catches the fish that end up in grocery stores! News-O-Matic (NOM) talked to Pickett (JP) about her job.

Like I was saying, each week NOM features someone with a "real job" that entails a description about what they do for a living.  This week they featured me as a fisherman! I mean, I'm not sure fishing is really a "real job" but whatever, that is beside the point.  Still,   how cool is that that 8-10 year-olds all over America today are learning about commercial fishing in Alaska?  And, not only that, but that women fish in Alaska, too!  I think that is my favorite part. 

NOM: Can girls be as good at fishing as guys? JP: Yes! I think women make great fishermen. There is a saying that you have to work smarter, not harder. And that is true for women. We don’t always have the physical strength to do some of the tasks needed to be done. So we have to figure out a way to still do them by using our brains and not our muscles.

To see the full article you have to download the free app onto your iPad or antroid (sorry, a laptop or computer won't work) which you can do here ( But I know you are all busy or might not own a tablet so I'll try to share with you the main points.  Except my blog doesn't have the same cool feature as their app "read to me" and the whole interview is read out load like a bed time story.

NOM: Do you need special training to fish? 
JP: No. I just learned it by working on other boats for a lot of years.

NOM: When do you go fishing in Alaska? 
JP: Salmon season in Cordova, where I mainly fish, is from May until September.

NOM: Do you ever get grossed out working with fish?  
JP: Not so much anymore. Since Alaskan waters are so cold, we have to wear rubber gloves and raingear to stay dry. So if I get fish blood or slime on myself, it’s just on my raingear. And I just wash it off. 

My second favorite part of the feature is when they talk about thinking about where dinner comes from.  They really helps connect the dots for people that fishermen provide a delicious, nutritious, sustainable food source! 


NOM tries to make each article as interactive as possible.  There are a few buttons to push that lead to different facts, "acts", a short video of me setting my net, a map and photos.  Here are a few more photos in the feature, and school kids all over America today will see Cordova Alaksa on a map!

My on my old boat circa 2000

gillnetting the Copper River Flats, Cordova Alaska

slacking while seining on the Coral out of Petersburg, AK circa 1995

interactive map that tells you how far you are from Cordova, Alaska!

All in all a pretty cool interview and hopefully a good boost for Alaska's fisheries!  I think NOM did a whiz bang job of summing up fishing, but I need to make one teeny, tiny correction.  That lovely blue bowpicker that they claim is me on my boat is not my boat. I wish!! Despite sending them a picture of me and my boat, they posted a picture I took of another boat.  I guess I can't blame them, Jame's boat is much nicer than mine ever was. But I just didn't want anyone thinking I was misleading NOM by claiming to own a nicer boat than I did.  Ok, I think you are pickin' up what I am puttin' down.  I'm out.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Family Fishermen of Wild and Sustainable Copper River/Prince William Sound Salmon

Howdy ho all.  I bet you thought I fell overboard long ago and have since been eaten up by sand fleas and small crabs.  Not the case.  I am alive and well and in Finland.  But, that is a story for another time.

This fishing season was a great one, with so many adventures.  I have loads to tell you!  But where do I start?  I will start with this.  Here is a great little video put on by the Copper River/ Prince William Sound Marketing Association ( titled "Family Fishermen of Wild and Sustainable Copper River/Prince William Sound Salmon".   Personally, I think they did a whiz bang job on this video showcasing Copper River Salmon and fishing in Cordova, Alaska.  But, my opinion has just a little list...I'm in the video!  Ha!  This spring a film crew came to Cordova and shot a bunch of footage.  I didn't really think much of it because I've been filmed by these kinds of crews before, but I'm usually among the footage that gets edited out.  Haha.  So when this video came out a few months later, I didn't think anything of it.  Plus, I was in the Arctic literally about 1000 miles away from Cordova and the Copper River and they were the last thing on my mind. But again, that is another story for another time.   So, the first time I saw this video I didn't know I would be in it, I thought it was just another video.  And, like the geek I am, when I saw myself I was so shocked I yelled "Hey, that's me!" Duh!   Its a little weird to see yourself on the screen, even if it is a laptop screen. At least it is for me.  Maybe someone like Linda Greenlaw would be used to it, but as we all know, I'm not Linda Greenlaw.  And I could only watch this video once because it really is just too weird watching myself.  Do I really sound like that?  And if so, you guys read my blog anyway?  How sweet you all are!  OK, before I get totally freaked out and decide not to even post this at all I'm going to just hit  the publish button and walk away.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Copper River Salmon Season 2014 Kicks Off!

It's here! It's here! It's here! It's here!  Copper River Reds are here!  I don't know about you but I have been lucky enough to eat fresh salmon for the past few days now.  But, look at me, getting ahead of myself already.

The Copper River gillnet fishery opened up for a 12 hour period last Thursday, May 15th.  The weather was pretty nice as we all charged out the harbor floating on the excitement of the first opener of the season.

Anchored out the night before the 1st opener

The weather started off pretty decent for us, no wind, sunny and warm.  As the opener progressed, a westerly kicked up, making running west to home at the end of the opener a bit of a kidney buster.  All in all, though, not too bad of a day on the Flats.

The price started a little low then crept up through out the day as it became clear there weren't too many fish around.  I think we ended up somewheres just north of four bucks a pound for reds. We managed to scrape up a few fish and with the good price we get at the beginning of the season, even a few fish add up just fine.

We had a second opener on Monday, another 12 hour shot at the fish.  There were a few more fish around but not so, so much.  But again, the price held and so did the weather. 

There is usually a slough of media coverage around the beginning of the season and this year was no different.  Articles about fish and the price of fish have been popping up left and right.  Here is a great little video capturing a few of our local characters of the fishing fleet along with an article about the price of fish.  Simply click the links below.

Meet the Fleet

The story behind the $50/lb hype of Copper River salmon.

Copper River Salmon in Seattle & Anchorage

Too bad we fisherman don't get paid that kind of money!  But, we don't.Which is why we have to go out and do it again.  Speaking of, I'm about to do just that!  Fishing opens again tomorrow for a 36 hour period.  The fish counter has just gone crazy so we are getting lots of fishing time.  Wish us luck!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fishes & Dishes Holiday Gift Ideas for the Fisherperson, Cook or Armchair Adventurer in Your Life

The holiday season is upon us.  Have you been good?  I have been....more/less.  As good as a fisherman can possibly be anyhow.

In case you haven't finished your holiday shopping for that salty dawg in your life, fellow bloggers and fishermen from the F/V Savage have made a must have gift list!  I had to share.  My favorite is bronze Octopus tentacle ring (size 6, PO Box 1135 Cordova, AK 99574).  

Here is the link to Fishes & Dishes site:

These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things...

Fishes & Dishes Holiday Gift Ideas for the Fisherperson, Cook or Armchair Adventurer in Your Life.

Happy Holidays from Fishes & Dishes!

Alaska Weathervane Scallops & Apron

Give the cook in your life one of these thick and sturdy aprons ($23 )emblazoned with an Alaska Weathervane Scallop, the best in the world! If they'v been very good, and feed you often, treat them to a box of Weathervanes too ($105-120), which come in 4 convenient 1- pound blocks to a box.

Klawock Oceanside Smoked Salmon Gift Box

Klawock Oceanside is a family run business, and Mary Lang is one of the contributors to Fishes and Dishes (The Chain Locker). The salmon they buy in the Alaskan summer is turned into some of the best smoked salmon you’ll ever taste. This beautiful, limited edition wooden gift box is sure to please anyone on your gift list. Filled with 3 cans of Sockeye, 2 cans of Coho, a can opener, crackers and two birch forks, it's a steal ($52), and shipping is included!

They also have 3 packs of Salmon nicely gift wrapped in cellophane and topped with a bow ($24) (contains 1 can Sockeye, 1 can King and 1 can Coho).

Crab Casserole

Mussels and More Mussel Bowl

Beautiful Alaska seafood deserves a proper presentation. These beautiful 9”, high-fired stoneware crab casseroles($68) from potter Jeff Tinius are perfect for serving up your favorite seafood dish or chowder. Available in four colors from Annie Kaills in Juneau.

The mussel bowl ($58)from Mussels and More is perfect for serving up Mussels with Cider and Bacon (from the Fishes & Dishes cookbook). Replete with barnacles on the bottom of the bowl, this is a beautiful piece and available at many stores throughout Alaska and the Pacific NW as well as online. Click here for store locations.

Salmon Sisters Anchor Leggings and AK Marine Hoodie
These two hardworking fishing sisters out of Sand Point, Alaska are the brains and creative talent behind Salmon Sisters’ awesome fishing inspired clothing. Pick up a pair of their lusciously thick and soft Anchor Leggings -for her ($38), printed with a sassy white anchor, or an AK Marine hoodie -for him ($45) emblazoned with a fishing boat and “Our Oceans, Our Lifestyle’ on the back. 10% of each sale of the hoodie goes directly to the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC).

Ray Troll Gear

Ray Troll is an Alaskan treasure, and his witty artwork graces t-shirts worn by cool people everywhere. Pick up a T, Hoodie, poster or book from Soho Coho (prices vary) and you'll be sure to please any of the people on your Nice list!

La Lune Jewel Anchor Cuff

We are coveting this hand hammered and etched anchor cuff ($50) by La Lune Jewel, made by a Seattle artist and daughter of a SE Alaskan Marine Pilot. 

Moon Raven Design Octopus Ring

We love all things octopus, and especially love this bronze Octopus tentacle ring ($59) from Moon Raven Design out of Victoria, BC. Made to order in any size from 5 up to 13.5 for the Octopodidae lover in your life.
 I never take mine off.

Chinook And Company's Sockeye Fish Oil

Stay healthy and take your fish oil! Chinook and Company’s 100% pure, natural Alaska Sockeye salmon oil capsules provide vital Omega 3's and other essential fatty acids. ($18.95). Sustainably harvested in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Alaska Distillery Smoked Salmon Vodka

What to drink with that smoked salmon frittata? How about a Bloody Mary made with Alaska Distillery Smoked Salmon Vodka ($35.99)

Fish-Work: The Bering Sea by Corey Arnold
Chosen as one of the best photo books of the year by PDN and American PHOTO magazine when it came out, Fish-Work: The Bering Sea ($65)  by fisherman and photographer Corey Arnold brilliantly captures the stark beauty and harsh reality of working as a crabber on the Bering Sea. Signed copies of Fish-Work: The Bering Sea are available directly from the artist.

Alaska Blues by Joe Upton

Alaska Blues ($15.95by Bainbridge Island author Joe Upton is an award winning memoir of a season of trolling in SE Alaska. Here’s what David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars, had to say about it“…A beautifully written book about commercial fishing in coastal waters. Joe Upton delivers both the reality and romance of Southeast Alaska.” I couldn't have said it better myself.

Working On the Edge:Surving in the World's Most Dangerous Profession: King Crab Fishing on Alaska's High Seas by Spike Walker

Before the Deadliest Catch, there was Spike Walker and this now classic memoir. Working on the Edge ($15.95exposed the harsh conditions and incredible dangers and unique culture of crab fishing on the Bering sea. If you know a Deadliest Catch fan, then this is a perfect book for them.

Happy Holidays!
Coho-HO HO!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

National Fisherman's 2013 Crew Shots

National Fisherman's annual crew shots is out!  Check it out to see if there is anyone you recognize!

Check out the link here: National Fishermen's Crew Shots, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Katmai National Park


Every now and again when you are out fishing you have to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.  So when I got the chance to fly out to Katmai National Park this past summer while I was gillnetting in Bristol Bay, I jumped at it.  From King Salmon, Katmai is only a 20 minute float plane ride away.  You can fly out there for the day, stay the night in an (overpriced) lodge or you can camp.  Camp with all those bear, are you crazy?  Don't worry, there is an electric fence around the camp ground.  Besides, with all this delicious salmon around you think these bears want to nibble on you?  Granted, it is unsettling to be so close to so many bears.  Grizzly bears, none the less.   This sure wouldn't happen in other parts around Alaska.  But out at Brook's Falls, in the heart of Katmai, food is in such abundance, these bears are happily satiated on sockeye salmon.   Which is also the reason you see so many together in such a small area.  Lets take a look.

Brook's Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska

Bears waiting for sockeye salmon

They wade in the water, catching salmon, occasionally

Look at this old guy.  See how little his ears look?  He's BIG!

Grandpa bear

Someone got lucky!

Yummy wild Alaskan salmon

Gut salmon?

Dur...I thought I saw one..

I got one!  I got one!!


Hold my calls Roy, I'm busy

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Scenes from the 2013 season

watchin' corks

steering station

Fishermen's bible aka tidebood

the fleet heading to the Copper River Flats, Cordova

Fog. This is actually a color photo!

Who me? Otter in the Harbor

Sunset Copper River Flats
Sitting on anchor