Spring Fever - Wild Harvest in Southeast Alaska

By Bethany Sonsini Goodrich | March 15, 2017
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Sitka Spruce Tips

Our winter bodies are starting to thaw and grins are spreading across our cold-hardened cheeks. Spring is finally here! Southeast Alaska’s rural communities are surrounded by thousands of acres of public lands where we hunt, fish, and forage our winter woes away. It’s time to venture into our beloved backyard to welcome in a new season of wild harvesting.

 

Wild abalone
Delicious intertidal creatures like these abalone are worth the chilly plunge for brave spring divers.
Fiddleheads have a limited harvesting window and are the perfect excuse to get up close and personal with our lush forest floor. These blanched beauties await their future as pizza toppings.
eresa Moses of Stika joyfully packages up a harvest of herring roe on hemlock branches. Her two sons love herring eggs and would be delighted to find them in their lunchboxes.
Wade Martin cracks a joke as he prepares to fish for halibut and rockfish in Sitka Sound.
Hemlock branches are carried into Sitka Sound to be anchored in herring spawning sites. After several days, harvesters hope to retrieve their branches coated in thick layers of delicious herring roe.
Fresh young Sitka spruce tips have a citrusy taste and can be used in a variety of recipes from shortbread to syrup. These spruce tips will be combined with water and sugar then reduced into syrup; the perfect addition to a gin and tonic.
Wade Martin, an avid hunter and fisherman who makes his living off the water, pulls a halibut aboard his skiff in Salisbury Sound.
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