Bristol Bay and Beyond, April 17 2015

Apr 17, 2015

The passing of Igiugig's Mary Olympic, Trident's new fishmeal plant in Naknek, voices from the boat yard, and a high schooler's award winning poem.

Crew aboard the F/V Lady Mindy were reading the vessel to seine for the upcoming sac roe herring fishery in Togiak.
Credit Hannah Colton, KDLG

One of roughly two dozen who helped battled a grass fire at a property on Wood River Road in Dillingham Wednesday.
Credit KDLG

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Mike Sparks at Alaska Net & Supply at the Dillingham Boat Harbor opened for business this week. There aren't many customers yet, but Sparks says he has some work to do around the shop before more fishermen get to town.
Credit Hannah Colton, KDLG

Mary Olympic of Igiugig, who passed away Tuesday night at the age of 83. Her daughter Lydia said "Mom was a tiny woman, maybe not even 4'10" tall, but she had such a presence about her, somehow she was always larger than life."

Tomorrow in the village of Igiugig, family and friends will gather to remember and celebrate the life of Mary Olympic.  

Olympic passed away Tuesday night at the age of 83.  I spoke with one of her granddaughters, Christina Salmon, yesterday, and asked her what about Mary made her so special to so many:

Mary Olympic was born at a reindeer herding camp at Kukaklek Lake in 1931. Last week, the elder was invited to speak to residents in Port Heiden, which is looking to bring reindeer herding back to Bristol Bay.

Skipper Paul Friis-Mikkelsen (left) and his crewmen ready the F/V Skagerrak for to seine herring in Togiak.
Credit Hannah Colton, KDLG

Yesterday two biologists with the Department of Fish and Game flew the first aerial survey for the 2015  Togiak Sac Roe fishery. They say they saw some fish, but not many (and were they herring, or smelt?)

If the herring show up as anticipated, this should be another big year, but there’s low participation registered to fish.  That seems to be on account of what most assume will be a price of $50 or less per ton.   

KDLG reporter Hannah Colton has been around the Dillingham Harbor this week to find out what's on the mind of some fishermen preparing to head out. 

Another Alaska pipeline ... this is the path fish waste from Trident's Naknek processing facility will travel to the company's new fishmeal plant.
Credit Matt Martin, KDLG

The main air filter inside Trident's new fishmeal plant in Naknek should clean scrub air from inside the plant before it is released back outside. Fishmeal plants have a reputation of being ... smelly. Trident says technology has come a long way, and hopes residents won't notice any odor.
Credit Matt Martin, KDLG

In Naknek, Trident Seafoods is waiting on some Togiak herring to give it’s new fishmeal plant a thorough test before it goes into full operation for this summer’s salmon season.   

Some residents are still a little leery of what they think may be a smelly addition to town. But Trident says the new technology inside of this multimillion dollar plant will do it’s job, processing the meal and cleaning the air to remove odor.

Trident opened their doors this week to our reporter Matt Martin for an inside look as they put the final touches on Bristol Bay’s newest processing plant.

This 50 foot, 60,000 pound spin drier sits at the center of the new Trident fishmeal plant in Naknek.
Credit Matt Martin, KDLG

Since 1981 writers of all ages have been participating in an annual creative writing contest held by UAA and now with the Alaska Dispatch. 

Submissions were due in February, and winners will be announced and published in the Dispatch in mid-May, but one Dillingham high school student says she’s been notified that she won in a poetry category. We’re excited to welcome her on the program for a sneak peak at her work.

Crew aboard the F/V Lady Mindy earlier this week at the Dillingham Harbor.

That's it for this week's Bristol Bay and Beyond, our weekly newsmagazine on KDLG. We hope you join us each Friday at 12 noon and 6:30 p.m. on AM670, and at 8:30pm on 89.9 FM.

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Have you taken a stellar photo this week that be our cover photo? Send it to us! We'll credit you and ask for more photos thereafter.

Sonny Gardiner is a member of Dillingham's Volunteer Fire Department. Pictured on top of the engine, Gardiner was on the scene of Wednesday's grass fire off Wood River Road. Below, Aleknagik Fire Chief Braden Tinker was the first responder on the scene, having been driving by on his way back from Dillingham.
Credit KDLG