Spotlight on Honeywilya Fish
Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on Honeywilya Fish! All of their succulent salmon products are 20% off for member-owners from March 22nd – 28th! Read on to learn more about this unique local business that brings high quality, hook-and-line-caught wild Alaskan salmon to our Co-op shelves and the angler that makes it all possible:
For angler Lynn Steyaart, this fish tale begins on the shores of Georgia where he grew up fly fishing with his dad and watching the shrimp boats come into port. His path eventually led him to school at UVM, then on to adventures in commercial fishing in Alaska. It was here that Lynn met his wife, Maria, who had grown up in Chester, Vermont, but was spending some time as a wilderness ranger in Alaska. It was also there that Lynn purchased a commercial salmon troller called the “Honeywilya”, marking the exciting beginning of a new livelihood.
Lynn and Maria are now settled in Duxbury, Vermont, though Lynn still spends 6 months of the year fishing the 500-mile stretch of ocean in Southeastern Alaska from Ketchikan to Yakatak. He returns home to Vermont with 700-800 pounds of salmon, which he sells to friends, neighbors, and a select few local stores, including our Co-op.
All of Honeywilya Fish’s salmon are wild, sustainably caught by hook-and-line, individually landed, immediately cleaned, carefully iced, and gently handled by Lynn and his deckhand, Ryan Mulvihill. Without the use of nets (that can be detrimental to other species), this small quantity catch method ensures an attention to detail and superior quality with each fish. Steyaart and Mulvihill put in long days on the boat, working from 3 or 4 am until 9 pm to bring in their haul. The fish are cleaned and filleted right away, then packed in ice. Another boat meets Steyaart’s every couple of days to take the fish to a packaging facility to be vacuum-sealed. This ensures that the fish arrives to you as fresh as possible.
Steyaart says it’s tough to leave his wife behind for half of each year and the days working on the boat can be long and strenuous, but it’s surprisingly easy to stay in touch. Because cruise ships frequent the southern Alaska coastline, cellphone coverage is surprisingly good where Lynn fishes, and she hears from him often. And occasionally, as her schedule permits, she has even joined him on the boat.