Salmonstock in Photos
A few weeks ago I traveled down to Ninilchik, Alaska—population 883. The sleepy little hamlet saw it’s temporary ranks swell by more than six times, as thousands made the pilgrimage to SalmonStock III, a music festival celebrating the one things that all Alaskans love – wild fish. Even for those very few who don’t like fish and keep that horrible secret to themselves, fish drive the economy, tourism, support subsistence users, sport and commercial fishermen, and a culture that has existed here for thousands of years. In one way or another, Alaskans are bound up with fish. When fish prosper, we prosper. When fish are threatened, we are threatened. We may be the last salmon culture left on the continent.
The Pacific Northwest, and the north east coast used to share this culture, but poor stewardship has decimated wild salmon. Farmed fish now “replaces” wild stocks to the detriment of people, fish, and contamination of the few remaining wild stocks with disease and parasites.
But Alaska is different, so far. That’s not to say that we don’t have to work hard to make sure that our fish stay wild, our culture stays intact, and sustainable practices ensure that jobs and food supplies stay around for future generations. Powerful interests across the globe have different priorities, and lots of money.
Anglo American, and Northern Dynasty Minerals seek to put a huge open-pit gold, copper, and molybdenum mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, the planet’s last remaining great salmon fishery. PacRim Coal is pushing for massive development on the shores of Cook Inlet across from Anchorage. If they’re successful, the precedent will be set for mining directly through salmon streams, opening the legal door for destruction across the state.
And so SalmonStock was born – 3 days of fun, frolic, music, and salmon. If the aliens did a flyover of the event, they might think we worshipped the fish. They might not be that far off.
We’ll be sharing several batches of photos from the event. For photographers, it was a glut of riches.
Yup, this was the place!
Even first thing in the morning, there was a line.
The theme of the day became apparent immediately.
Kisses from the… um… yeah.
What? No salmon?
The reason we come to celebrate.
There were plenty of ways to learn, connect with organizations doing good work, and take action to protect wild salmon.
Fishwear was omnipresent.
A mosquito prayer flag? Only in Alaska.
This giant metal salmon is rigged for flame!
Josh Tucker was there for a screening of “We Can’t Eat Gold,” his documentary on the proposed Pebble Mine, and the local culture of Bristol Bay.
The screening of “We Can’t Eat Gold” was well attended.
…and enjoyed by all.
These salmon were great. They shivered and danced in every breath of wind.
Truuli Vodka’s flags, which also apply to the fish!
Although the clouds were menacing at times, not a drop fell.
Sign o’ bones!
A salmon on every plate.
I loved watching the kids slide down. Pure smiles!
Hand-blown Alaska glass icicles.
Those salmon always know where they’re going.
The musicians in this organization are each going to write a song about Pebble. Great way to spread information!
No one says you can’t learn and have fun at the same time.
This would have been a great picture if ol’ whatsername hadn’t been in the way.
See what they did there?
Swedish fish – take that!
When a regular ol’ hoop will just not do.
Yes. A pickle sicle. *erp*
Part of an amazing mural on coal.
Here’s the whole thing. They were selling posters of it as well. Amazing.
Awesome Chugach chocolates. The salted dark chocolate was sublime.
Tie dye for all ages.
Um. I think that guy has a tail.
Someone got the best seat in the house.
Beautiful nautical designs from a popular shop in Anchorage.
For when you want to take your sockeye out for a swim.
Hats off to Ray Troll for his awesome Salmonstock logo design.
The Salmonstock Shop. Yes, I got the shirt.
I wonder if the fish like these better.
The mighty Trout Unlimited!
I have a feeling people aren’t real fans of Pebble Mine in these parts.
You will ooonly eat wiiiild finish….
If you’re not Alaskan, you might not know what this means. I’ll let you in on the code. Do that with your hand, and you’ve made a map of our state!
I think this is where that guy got his tail…
Two great signs that taste great together.
One of those “only in Alaska” things. If this festival happened anywhere “Outside,” this booth would likely have been given a bit of grief.
The neutral sky seemed to just make the festival seem brighter!
Beautiful things, beautiful thoughts, beautiful day.
We’ve got lots more pictures from me, and from Zach Roberts to share from the event. Check back for the music, the people watching, and more!