Who Are We?
Why do we love to fish?
BRIAN AND LISA GABRIEL, OWNERS
At Alaska Blue Harvest Seafoods, we are family owned and operated. We have been fishing the waters of Cook Inlet Alaska for 31 years and we harvest and process our own Wild Alaska Salmon products.
Brian Sr. first worked as a deckhand on a local set net site in the late 1970’s. In 1987 we bought our own fishing site, which was the beginning of our family fishing.
We begin preparing for our fishing season in early May by anchoring our buoys into the water on a very low tide. This is done at low tide to enable us to reach the lines that we left on a low tide the previous season. We then attach our buoys, which keep our nets at the surface of the water and keep them from floating away. The buoys will stay in the water until the Fall, when we take them off for the Winter.
Prior to each Salmon opening, we check our equipment and nets to assure that the nets from the previous fishing period are stacked in the boats and the equipment is ready to go on a moments notice. Crew members stay at the fishing site the night before an opening to assure everyone is on time for the set and that we have time to cover the details for the day. Usually a cup of coffee, a look at the tide book, and we’re on our way to the beach.
In Upper Cook Inlet, the regulated fishing time starts at 7:00am. We are at the beach and ready to set our nets by 6:30am. Many things may negatively affect the set. The Weather may be bad, equipment may break, the ropes may break or we may encounter other unforeseen problems.
At exactly 7:00am, we set the two beach nets simultaneously. Brian Sr. sets the South net with the tractor and Lisa sets the North net with the truck. With the help of and our deckhands we have two nets set within one minute. After it is determined that the beach nets are set properly, we launch the skiffs to go set the outside nets. The boat is launched and the outside nets are set as quickly as possible. When you are fishing, time really is important to the success of your site. If your nets are not in the water fishing, you are not catching fish.
After all the nets are set, the crew will revisit each of them to make sure that they are set correctly and fishing well. The nets will be left to fish until just before the slack tide, when the boats are launched once again to harvest the fish. Slack tide is the time just before the tide changes from ebbing to flooding or flooding to ebbing, so that the fish will not be washed out of the net with the change of the tide.
The flood tide happens when the water is rushing up into Cook Inlet resulting in the high tide. An Ebb tide happens when the water is rushing out of Cook Inlet resulting in the low tide. In Cook Inlet, the tides change roughly every 6 hours with a daily advance of approximately 50 minutes. We find the times for the tides in the tide book. The tide book is released each January with tide times listed for many different areas of Alaska. Our family uses the tide table for Seldovia tides. The tide information is released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. (NOAA) This is crucial information to determine the correct times of the tides. The tides are an important part of our fishing operation. We live our lives each summer by the tide book. We eat, sleep and pick fish by the compact little book in the months of July and August.
After the fish are picked from the nets, they are bled and put into iced brailers in the skiff. When each net has been picked, our Wild Alaska Salmon are brought to the beach with the skiff and brailed into newly iced totes. It is then that they are taken to our processing facility to be hand cleaned, filleted and vacuum packed by Lisa. Our Wild Alaska Salmon is then shipped fresh to our customers in places worldwide. So, who are we and why do we love to fish? Because it is hard work, we are living on the edge, it is amazing time spent with our family and each other and it is sustainable!
"We harvest wild alaska salmon for your family in a 135 year old sustainable fishery."
- Lisa Gabriel -