In 1946, our grandparents, Jack Vantrease and his wife, Lyn, packed up everything they owned and moved to Alaska. With a canvas tent and a few hand tools, Jack and Lyn homesteaded on the pristine shores of Lake Iliamna, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. In the summer of 1948, bursting with enthusiasm at the prospect of commercial salmon fishing in Bristol Bay, Grandpa reckoned with his first season of commercial fishing in an old, double-ended wooden sailboat. So began a lifelong love affair with fish.
60 years later, the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishery is still the center of our family's life and work. Instead of being forced to give in to the market pressures of large-scale industrial fishing and fish farming, we, the grandchildren, re-organized the family fishing business into the Iliamna Fish Company.
We applaud the work of organizations like the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Marine Stewardship Council, Ecotrust, and Salmon Nation. We look forward to passing on the tradition of sustainable, wild fishing to our children and to future generations of neighboring families.