The Salmon Project recently highlighted some of our favorite fishing women: Lexi Fish Hackett of Sitka, and Claire Neaton and Emma Laukitis (aka The Salmon Sisters). Lexi, Claire, and Emma Teal are the daughters of our founding board members Steve Fish and Buck Laukitis.
It’s hard to describe how it feels to see these young women step into the roles of conservation-minded fishermen and mindful, stewards of the resource. The simplest way to sum it up is, it’s why we do what we do at AMCC.
We caught up with Lexi, Claire, and Emma Teal on childhoods spent fishing and what their hopes are for future fishing generations. In this first edition we highlight Lexi Fish Hackett of Sitka, and in the next edition we will showcase the Salmon Sisters, Claire Neaton and Emma Teal Laukitis.
Question: How long have you been fishing for and what’s your favorite thing about fishing?
Lexi: I grew up spending time on my parent’s longline and salmon tender boat. I took my first trip on the boat when I was 9 months old. I didn’t fish with my parents during the derby days (not so kid friendly), just when we tendered in the summer. At age 15, I went longlining out of Kodiak with my dad as a paid deckhand for the first time. Every year since then, I have fished seasonally with my parents on their boat, F/V Kariel. Our family fishing has morphed into several trips per year, and we fish with lots of family and friends – my parents, siblings, husband, daughter, aunts and uncle have all been a part of our family trips. I also troll out of Sitka for salmon on the boat my husband Adam and I own, F/V Myriad.
I love being on the ocean in Southeast Alaska and spending time working as a team with my family and friends. I also love the challenging physical labor and focus that fishing entails.
Question: What does it mean to you to continue your family’s fishing tradition?
Lexi: It means continuing to mindfully harvest wild ocean resources in a sustainable way so that future generations may enjoy similar experiences. It means working hard and earning your own way, but taking care of friends and family. I also want to teach my children the beauty of harvesting and putting up their own food. I hope to pass on a culture of environmental stewardship and gratitude for nature’s bounty.
It is important to stay involved in our community and our fisheries in order to work toward a sustainable future, because it will not happen if we leave that up to others and pass on the responsibility instead of taking ownership of the future, ourselves. These are philosophies my parents passed on to me.
Question: What are some of your hopes for the future of our fisheries, your community, or the fishing legacy that your daughter will inherit?
Lexi: I hope my daughter can get out in the wilderness and take time to absorb the beauty of the natural world. I hope has a good work ethic and integrity. Mostly, I hope she finds satisfaction in doing whatever it is that she loves, whether it be fishing, hunting, gathering, or taking a peaceful walk in the woods. I hope she lives in a community where people maintain personal connection with each other and their local environment.
Find this article in its original form on the AMCC website, and tune in for the next edition of Family Fishing Traditions, about Salmon Sisters!
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Every week we share the stories of Alaskan makers and young fishermen on our social media channels. This project has given us a deeper appreciation for the community who work on Alaska waters and those who work to create Alaska goods. Everyday we learn from new people who inspires us to be better fishermen and create more beautiful things. Enjoy the following stories from a few of the Alaskan fishermen and makers we've learned from. Stay tuned for more wonderful stories this summer!
Thank you Vogue and the amazing Evgenia Arbugaeva for capturing this community of hard-working women that we hold in such high esteem. What a day for this diverse group of strong and independent women to have a moment of recognition. We feel incredibly to lucky to be able to use our Salmon Sisters audience to highlight our larger community and Alaska’s commercial fisheries.
This year, we traveled to Astoria, Oregon to attend the annual FisherPoets Gathering, a celebration of the commercial fishing industry in poetry, prose and song. FisherPoets has attracted storytellers and their many fans since 1998. We dare say it was one of the highlights of our winter.