6 Ways to Incorporate Salmon in Alaskan Meetings & Events

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Sponsored by Ketchikan Visitors Bureau 

In the Pacific Northwest, great cultural significance is placed upon salmon. Its importance to the region cannot be understated- the fish has sustained indigenous peoples for millennia, fueled the development of towns and industries, and is an important food source for the wildlife both in and around the sea.

Among native peoples, salmon represent the attributes of determination, prosperity and renewal. Tribal groups celebrate the beginning of fishing season with traditions like First Salmon ceremonies, and commemorate them in artwork such as regalia and totem carvings. Some tribes have adopted the salmon as the symbol of their clans or family units.

In Ketchikan, Alaska salmon take center stage. It was along the shores of Ketchikan Creek that the Tlingit people set up summer camps to catch and dry salmon for winter food stores. In the late 1800s when gold rush fever was rampant, a traveler passing through noticed the strong runs of salmon in the area and returned to establish the first commercial fishing operation. By the 1930s Ketchikan was on the map as the “salmon capital of the world” due to the number of canneries and the resultant cases of canned salmon shipped the world over. Commercial fishing continues to be an important part of the local economy. From May through September, residents and visitors alike take to the water to fish for the five species of salmon returning to local streams.

Here are six ways to incorporate salmon into your next meeting or event in Ketchikan.

Tours and Activities: Tours can be arranged for groups to visit a salmon hatchery, to learn about the life cycle of the various species and how commercial and sportfishing management assures long term sustainability. Mid-summer through early fall tours are led to witness bears catching salmon in the streams of the spectacular Tongass National Forest. Day cruises to places like Misty Fjords National Monument provide opportunities to see salmon jumping, as well as other wildlife including bears and bald eagles catching their meals.

Culture: Invite a Native Alaskan story teller, artist or local historian to present a program during your meeting or as part of social events. Marine biologists offer fascinating insights on salmon’s impact on the environment, or a local chef can share preparation tricks and techniques.

Dining: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) lists wild salmon as a smart seafood choice according to US regulations for sustainable management and harvesting. Salmon is an excellent source of high quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Not only is it good brainfood for a productive meeting, it is locally sourced and will add value to green meeting efforts.

Go Fish: If you are looking for a chance to incorporate fresh air, time to think, or a little friendly competition among teammates, a half day of sportfishing can serve as a welcomed break from the four walls of a meeting room. Fishing charters typically accommodate from four to six guests, making it easy to create a derby or contest among your delegates. A trophy to display along with bragging rights will help keep your event memorable.

Meet at a Fishing Lodge or Resort: Best suited for groups under 100, area lodges with meeting facilities offer a unique venue and the convenience of catering, accommodations and activities all in one location.

Shopping: Canned and smoked salmon, salmon themed apparel, Native Alaskan and contemporary jewelry and art, accessories like wallets and belts made from tanned salmon skin, even salmon dog treats are some the varied items that can be purchased for souvenirs to take home.

Memorable meetings are the goal of every planner. Providing a sense of place and authenticity in the Northwest market by incorporating an appreciation of salmon into events could set you apart from the crowd.

Sponsored by Ketchikan Visitors Bureau 

Ketchikan Visitors Bureau speaks salmon and offers full service assistance, customized to the individual needs of event planners. For more information or to talk fish, contact Deb Anderson, Meetings, Events & Groups Manager toll free at 800-770-3300 or info@meetinalaska.com

Invite three of your closest friends over to sample Boise Centre’s tasty cranberry martinis! (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS
—6 oz. gin
—1 cup cranberry juice
—Sliced fresh ginger
—Ginger ale
—Fresh cranberries, for garnish
—Rosemary sprigs, for garnish

 

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