FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mary Ann King, Stewardship Coordinator, Trout Unlimited, 510.507.0097
Heather and Kirk Hardcastle, co-owners/fishermen, Taku River Reds, 907.209.8424
Scott Becklund, Seafood Manager, Pacific Market, 707.823.4916
Alaska Salmon Delivered to Sonoma County with a Conservation Message
(SEBASTOPOL, California, March 15, 2010) –- Pacific Market, Taku River Reds, and Trout Unlimited will be collaborating on Saturday, March 20th to promote Southeast Alaska’s sustainable wild salmon fisheries and the conservation of wild salmon habitat in both California and Alaska. Served alongside this message will be wild salmon samples as well as wild salmon recipes, conservation information, and ways that salmon lovers can become wild salmon advocates. The event will take place from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Pacific Market’s Sebastopol store (550 Gravenstein Hwy).
Pacific Market, a family-owned grocery store chain, is hosting the event because it values wild Alaska salmon and because the company recognizes the importance of connecting its shoppers with food producers. “It means a lot to us to help link our customers with the people and places behind their food. Every food item has a story, especially wild salmon which connects us all, from California through Alaska. The salmon fishery in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is something that we’re especially proud to support since it’s sustainably managed and the salmon quality is exceptional,” commented Scott Becklund, Pacific Market’s Seafood Manager.
Taku River Reds, a family-run wild salmon supplier based in Juneau, Alaska, agrees that being able to connect with their buyers is critical, especially given the great distance between them and many of their customers. “What we have in Southeast Alaska is so unique and we want to be able to share that with the people who support what we do through their purchasing decisions. We want to thank Pacific Markets and their customers for voting with their forks for our wild salmon and our business while California’s salmon stocks are given a chance to recover,” noted Taku River Reds’ co-owner and fisherman, Kirk Hardcastle, who dreamt about becoming a fisherman while growing up in Sonoma County.
Southeast Alaska’s robust wild salmon fisheries and intact salmon habitat lies in stark contrast to the current status of California’s salmon fisheries. California’s salmon fishery has been closed the last two years with another season of severe restrictions likely this year. For Trout Unlimited’s local members and staff, this sobering reality provides even more motivation for continuing their efforts to reverse local salmon decline in Northern California by protecting the best places, reconnecting salmonids to good freshwater habitat, and restoring watersheds. Trout Unlimited’s local Redwood Empire Chapter and staff will be on-hand to discuss local efforts to restore habitat and improve streamflow, introduce Trout Unlimited’s Water and Wine Program, and connect salmon consumers with ways to get involved.
Trout Unlimited’s California Stewardship Coordinator, Mary Ann King, believes that there’s still hope for improving wild salmon and steelhead populations in Sonoma County’s rivers and streams. “We’re hopeful that one day soon Californians will once again be able to eat local California salmon and support local salmon fishermen. Working with landowners and residents of Sonoma County to enact changes that benefit wild fish and streamflow and supporting businesses that support wild salmon are critical to making the watershed-scale changes that salmon and steelhead need to thrive.”