Alaska salmon have started to make their way through the southern Norton Sound as the 2019 fishing season gets underway. Kwikpak Fisheries is gearing up to transport tons of fish in the region, but their boats are also preparing to deliver a different kind of cargo: dog food.
“We think it’s all for a good purpose, so that’s why we are going to go ahead and do it.”
That’s Jack Schultheis, the operations manager for Kwikpak on the Lower Yukon River. He says he was contacted by Alaska Native Rural Veterinary, Inc., asking Kwikpak to transport 3,000 pounds of freeze-dried dog food from Kotlik to Emmonak.
Schultheis says their fishing vessels can carry 40,000 pounds apiece, so finding space to bring onboard some much needed canine chow was no problem.
“If they need help from us during the season when we’re able to navigate the river and everything, that’s not a problem. I think we’ll always try to get along with the veterinarian people. And that’s a good thing for this region. Down here, there are a lot of things missing here, on the Lower Yukon, and that’s one of them (dog food).”
It has not yet been decided when one of Kwikpak’s ten boats will deliver the special cargo to Emmonak.
But according to Schultheis, the fisheries’ vessels are in operation through August, so whenever the timing works out for Alaska Native Rural Veterinary and Kwikpak, then the dog food delivery will be made.
Image at top: file photo: A fisherman delivers fall season fish to a buyer in Emmonak. Photo: Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 2007.