Meet Tica, TU Alaska’s New Bristol Bay Engagement Manager  

As our fight to #StopPebbleMine ticks towards the two-decade mark, we are excited to welcome fresh eyes to the Bristol Bay Team: Tica Drury, our new Bristol Bay Engagement Manager. Despite the huge win of finalizing Clean Water Act safeguards in the region earlier this year, Trout Unlimited’s work in the region is far from over. Tica will continue the hard work of many before her to secure permanent protections for the most prolific salmon run on earth.

Hometown/current town:

Seattle, WA / Anchorage, AK

How do your past professional pursuits tie into your new position?

My role at Trout Unlimited allows me to combine my Bachelor of Science in environmental studies, digital communications skills gleaned from running my own freelance marketing business, and my network of outdoor-minded professionals grown through seasonal work in guiding and bush aviation.

Favorite day of fishing in Alaska?

My first day of subsistence fishing for sockeye salmon on the Kenai River. Growing up in the Lower 48, salmon was always a luxury item, eaten rarely, and usually only on days of celebration. The fact that I could catch enough to fill my freezer was mind blowing. While eating salmon still feels like a celebration, I sure am thankful to eat it pretty much whenever I want!

What brought you to Alaska in the first place?

A summer guiding gig in Wrangell St. Elias National Park was my first exposure to the “face-melting” wild lands of Alaska. The unparalleled outdoor recreation opportunities and the tenacious dispositions of the people I met affirmed my conviction that Alaska was the place for me!

Most memorable meal you’ve had from Alaskan wild foods?

Over the course of our two-day long Trout Unlimited Alaska team retreat last week, we ate sockeye salmon, moose, mountain goat, and venison all harvested by TUAK team members. As someone who’s relatively new to Alaska, I’m consistently blown away by Alaskans’ nonchalance about the awe-inspiring wild foods they hunt, grow, and gather.

What are you most excited to learn about in your new role as Bristol Bay Engagement Manager?

I look forward to listening to the diverse voices that have been steadfast in their support of the Save Bristol Bay campaign for years now. Conservation is a long game, and these supporters deserve a trophy for their endurance. I could take a lesson on their grit…

What’s more, the fact that this position gives me a seat at the table alongside indigenous leaders, scientists, policy makers, and many other inspirational fish-loving-folk makes it fall into the “dream-job” category!

Dream fishing trip?!

While I’ve been to Western Alaska, I’ve never fished there! I hear nothing but good things about the Bristol Bay region’s trophy trout… Beyond that, I’d love to fly fish for steelhead in Yakutat or dip net for reds on the Copper River.

By Marian Giannulis.