660 tons of herring: The Anderson family fishing story, from Summit County to Chignik, Alaska

It was 1988 at the end of spring and dawn of summer in Togiak, Alaska, as fishermen lined the docks, eagerly awaiting the start of herring season. With only a half-hour window to fish that day, the herring season was one of the shortest and most intense fisheries out there — no place for amateurs. Of the 239 seiners (aka boats with fishing nets) present, 30-year-old captain Dean Anderson stood out on his craft: F/V “Susan Gale,” a 49-foot fiberglass beauty named after my mother. In the following 30 minutes, my dad made one of the largest sets in herring history: 660 tons of fish worth roughly $600,000, a job that took two tenders and 48 hours to pump out. There was no Internet that astonishing day — just one camera and a few fishermen to witness the scene. Serene yet powerful, sentimental and nostalgic — those are the words that come to mind when I gaze at the snapshot of one of the largest herring sets ever made. It’s taken 27 years for me to highlight this family gem, to immortalize commercial fishing at its prime and paint a portrait representing more than just a boat, but of a legacy shaped by the captain himself — my dad. Author Whitney Anderson  continue reading the story, and view 9 images here 22:02