Petersburg, Alaska

Aug 29, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird


A layer of low fog shrouded the waters of Petersburg, adding mystery to an otherwise sunny day in Southeast Alaska. The importance of salmon to the people of Petersburg was not lost on us, as we talked with the locals and learned about the role that salmon play in their lives. The Crystal Lake Hatchery, where Chinook and coho salmon were just about to spawn, taught us about the fascinating lifecycle of salmon and how they provide for the forest, people, and wildlife of the region. On dock walks, we looked at the various vessels in Petersburg and were invited aboard a trawler to see the catch of the day and experience the excitement of the crew. We also learned about the fishing industry and saw firsthand the processing of salmon from Tonka Seafoods, where freshly frozen salmon are prepared for delivery. When not off learning about the salmon industry, some lucky explorers were able to view a bear—one of the other Alaskan salmon consumers.

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About the Author

Sarah Friedlander

Naturalist

Growing up with a large backyard, Sarah spent her childhood exploring the woods and bringing home frogs. When asked not to bring frogs into the house, she learned the difference between frogs and toads and was soon asked not to bring toads into the house either. Raised just outside of Washington, DC, she considers herself lucky to have grown up with exposure to a combination of the outdoors and the city, as it helped her pick with certainty which one she wanted to spend all her time in - the outdoors.

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