People of Bristol Bay

Brian Kraft: Sportsman Lodge Owner
Brian came to Alaska in 1988 and started Kraft Adventures, an Alaskan tourism and guiding company in 1992. He entered the fishing lodge business in 1994 and built the Alaska Sportsman's Lodge on the Kvichak River in 1997. He is currently the operating manager for Alaska Sportsman's Lodge and one of two owners in that business. In 2004 his company acquired what is now known as the Kodiak Sportsman's Lodge. As a pilot and outdoorsman, Brian enjoys fishing and hunting in various parts of the state. He founded the Bristol Bay Alliance in November of 2004 to help educate and enlighten people about the environmental impacts of open pit mining.

Lindsey Bloom: Bristol Bay Commercial Fisherman and Wild Salmon Advocate
Lindsey, 29, is perhaps one of a dozen female captains out of the 1,500 or so that fish Bristol Bay each year. She started in commercial fishing at the age of 16 aboard her father Art Bloom’s vessel, and is now captain of the Erika Leigh. In addition to being a commercial fisherman Lindsey is also an at-large board member of United Fishermen of Alaska and a member of the Alaska Independent Fishermen’s Marketing Association. She has done contract consulting in commercial fishing, conservation, community watershed management, and has marketed some of her own fish. “She is one of the rising young leaders in Alaska fishing,” says Mark Vinsel, executive director of United Fishermen of Alaska.

Dylan Braund: Bristol Bay Commercial Fisherman
Dylan is a lifelong Nushagak setnetter, boat builder, and environmental law student. Dylan Braund nicknamed “Captain Insano” is a fourth-generation Alaskan fisherman who effectively romanticizes an often unglamorous commercial fishing existence, a lifestyle his young family including his wife Sarah and son Finn could potentially lose, if the proposed pebble mine is opened. “Open pit mining ruins watersheds. In Bristol Bay our water is our life. I want my son Finn to be able to fish out here one day,” says Dylan.

Bobby Andrew: Bristol Bay Subsistence Hunter and Fisherman
All his life, Bobby Andrew has been a subsistence hunter and fisherman. He lives in Dillingham and is a member and spokesman for Nunamta Aulukestai, an association of eight Alaska Native village corporations in Bristol Bay. In his work advocating on behalf of subsistence hunting and fishing rights for Alaska Native villages and people, he serves on the Nushagak Mulchatna Watershed Council and the Nushagak-Mulchatna Wood-Tikchik Land Trust. Andrew is a strong opponent of the proposed pebble mine stating, “I find myself fighting for the future of our renewable fish and wildlife resources. They are the central part of my culture. We need to let the rest of the world know so we can all work together to protect the environment, air, water and lands that produce subsistence resources on which we depend.”

Everett Leroy Thompson: Bristol Bay Commercial Fisherman
Everett Thompson is a lifelong resident of Naknek, Alaska, and a driftnet fisherman who fishes all five districts in Bristol Bay. He also subsistence fishes and hunts in the wilderness between Naknek and Iliamna. "I've fished this area for 25 years, every season, all season since I was 7 years old," Everett said. He began by set netting, but has been a drift fisherman since the age of 21. Everett is now 33 and about to begin his 26th year fishing Bristol Bay. Everett is a shareholder in the Bristol Bay Native Corporation and a tribal member of the Naknek Native Village. He is co-owner of a small business, Naknek Family Fisheries, and in recent years, Everett has become an advocate for Bristol Bay’s protection, opposing the proposed Pebble Mine project."The pure waters of Bristol Bay have sustained my family for generations. This watershed provides a subsistence lifestyle and commercial fishery worth fighting for," Everett says. "We will fight to save this place with all we have so that my daughter and her generation have the opportunity to carry on living from and protecting Bristol Bay – a home beyond compare."

Lydia Olympic: Tribal Advocate
Olympic is a Yupik/Sugpiaq from the Village of Igiugig, a small and remote village located in southwestern Alaska on Lake Iliamna. Although most of her time these days is spent organizing and teaching people about development proposals that could threaten Bristol Bay’s fish, other wildlife resources and ways of life, Lydia still goes home everysummer to help her family collect and dry salmon at their fish camp.  “This land of bounty has provided for our families, our culture and our traditional way of life for tens of thousands of years,” Lydia says. “This land is what we call home. We need our lands and waters to stay pristine to continue living healthy lifestyles. We will still be here long after the mining companies have left.”  Lydia has served seven years on the Igiugig Village Tribal Council, including two years as Council President. She also served as Environmental Director for her tribe as well as being the Vice-Chairman of the National Tribal Operations Committee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.