Spring is coming early in Alaska this year. The sun is out (most days), the snow is quickly melting, and our nearby streams are starting to gain flow. Before long, the first salmon will arrive and the annual summer frenzy will be at full steam. For those hearty enough that know where to go, some streams already hold early season steelhead.
It’s easy to become complacent and take for granted these seasonal and annual cycles, but doing so is a trap that we must always guard against. As declining salmon populations across too much of their historic range demonstrate, nothing is guaranteed.
One of the more rewarding aspects of working for TU is getting to know and work with our dedicated network of members and business supporters. There is no more passionate or selfless group out there, which is one of the keys to our many successes over the years. Sure, at some basic level we all just love fishing. But, what sets TU members apart is that we also understand that our relationship with the land, waters and fish we hold so dear imparts an obligation that we give back and take care of the resource.
In recognition of this obligation to give back, one of our long-time partners in Southeast Alaska, Custom Alaska Cruises, is donating 10 percent of its booking through May 1, 2019, to TU in support of our work in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. If you’ve ever dreamed of plying the inside passage and its many fjords, glaciers, forests and streams, this is a unique opportunity to do so aboard one of Custom Alaska Cruises’ luxury vessels while ensuring a portion of the costs directly support some of the best remaining salmon and steelhead runs in the world.
The Tongass National Forest holds more than 5,000 individual salmon streams, hundreds of healthy wild steelhead runs, and abundant Dolly Varden and coastal cutthroat trout populations. Black and brown bear, Sitka black-tailed deer and bald eagles are among the more common species that call the vast tracts of wild lands within the Tongass home.
For more information and to book your trip to the Tongass with Custom Alaska Cruises, you can contact Chelsea McCarthy by email at AlaskaCruises@gmail.com or by phone at (970)217-6359. For more information on our work in the Tongass check out http://www.americansalmonforest.org.
Austin Williams is the Alaska legal and policy director for Trout Unlimited. He lives in Anchorage.