Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Historic Places & Landmarks, Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, Scenic Byways/Historic Routes, The Road Less Traveled, Uncategorized
Foraging And Fishing in Cordova, Alaska
I was very fortunate to visit Cordova, Alaska last week. The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association hosted a fall press trip so they invited me plus four other food writers/professionals to visit the area.
The Copper River region is most well known for the ultra rich wild salmon that is pulled from the local waters. This Alaskan salmon is revered worldwide, and in Seattle there is always lots of hype when the season’s first catch arrives at the airport!
While in Cordova, Amy, Shauna, Danny, Joelen and I toured the fishing village, met fishermen and artists, fished for coho, and foraged for wild cranberries. When we arrived on Tuesday afternoon, the winds were howling and the rain was falling in force. The second day wasn’t much better, but we all managed to grab a rod and fish off the shore for about an hour. We didn’t catch anything, but we certainly had a few nibbles. Without a doubt, we enjoyed the adventure with our guide from the Orca Adventure Lodge. We then visited the Ilanka Cultural Center and stopped for lunch at Baja Taco.
We also spent some time with Steve Moffitt, a fisheries biologist from Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game. Steve gave us a wonderful lesson on what fishing sustainably means and what it entails at the ground level. We were then off to create our own beautiful fish print aprons at the office of Copper River Watershed Project. Cordova’s wonderful fish print artist, Pat McGuire, was even on hand to give us all a tutorial! We, of course, worked directly on real coho!
A large dinner party at the Orca Adventure Lodge gathered numerous local fishermen. We all enjoyed a fabulous meal created by Jeremy Storm, the Lodge’s CIA-trained chef. Copper River coho was, of course, the star of the menu.
Before we left on Thursday afternoon, we enjoyed an amazing 150-mile flightseeing tour over glaciers, deltas, Prince William Sound, and the harbor. We wrapped things up with quick stint picking wild cranberries in a remote field. My trip to Cordova was fabulous.
In case you care to visit, it’s worth noting that this small Alaskan fishing town isn’t accessible by road. You can only get there by boat or plane. So, if you want to bring your RV then you will have to board the high speed ferry from Whittier. If you just want to tent camp, then you can certainly take the ferry and your car or you can fly in from Anchorage. For more information on Cordova, see this link.
For my blog post on our adventure picking wild cranberries, click here.
Photo of Cordova harbor by Melissa A. Trainer
–Melissa A. Trainer