In March and April, enormous schools of herring swarm the shallows around Sitka, Alaska. Their eggs and milt turn the water pale. Attracted by the sudden abundance of herring and the tiny whitish eggs they leave on kelp, sea grass, and nearly any other submerged surface, creatures large and small come to dine. Whales, seals, sea lions, crabs, eagles, and screeching seagulls, drawn by the sudden, silvery rush of herring, burst onto the scene in a mad rush. “That marks my spring. It gets exciting. It just explodes with life,” says Jerrod Galanin. For Galanin, it also means salmon season is on the way.
Galanin is from Sitka, where he lives and works as an artist. As the chilly southeast Alaska spring blooms, he starts getting excited about summer, and seeking out the fish that draws him, his friends and his family together. Through fishing and gathering for meals, salmon sustains his family and relationships.