Tongass Salmon, Alaska Fishermen Featured at Stanford University

Trout Unlimited’s Heather Hardcastle and her husband, Kirk, took the story of Tongass wild salmon to the campus of Stanford University earlier this fall. The Hardcastles, who are co-owners of the Juneau-based sustainable seafood company Taku River Reds, were guest speakers at Stanford’s Sustainable Seafood Week.

“It was a great opportunity for us to spread the word far and wide about how amazing the Tongass National Forest is as far as salmon production and to get the students and the faculty at Stanford really excited about the fish and about what they can do to help sustain the forest habitat that makes it all possible,” said Heather.

The Hardcastles’ company sells 25,000 pounds of wild-caught salmon to Stanford University year. The university serves the fish in each of its 11 dining halls throughout the year. During Sustainable Seafood Week the Hardcastles offered cooking demonstrations and talks about efforts to conserve wild salmon habitat in the Tongass National Forest.

“Eveyone was really receptive to hearing about the Tongass 77 campaign and wanted to know how they could get involved. It was super-encouraging for us,” said Kirk. 

Dara Olmsted Silverstein, Stanford’s Sustainable Food Program Manager, invited the Hardcastles to present throughout the week. She hopes to do more with them in the coming year.

“The students were very engaged in learning about the Tongass. Their response was really overwhelmingly positive. Stanford is really proud to sources its wild salmon from Taku River Reds, a company that’s all about sustainably harvesting fish and protecting the watersheds that the salmon depend upon,” she said.

Besides being a commercial gillnetter, Heather Hardcastle serves as commercial fishing outreach coordinator for TU's Southeast Alaska Project.

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