Kwik’Pak Fisheries was founded in 2002 to ensure a fair trade market for regional fishermen as well as employment to area residents. The business brings the highest quality seafood to market in a socially and environmentally conscientious manner. Kwik’Pak was launched as a subsidiary of the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association (YDFDA), one of six community development quota associations formed over 20 years ago to improve the economy and quality of life in 65 communities on the Bering Sea Coast by including them in the world-class Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands fisheries.
The YDFDA has demonstrated significant commitment to the development and strength of the regional economy by providing diverse employment opportunities for the communities of the Lower Yukon. Wage earning opportunities are available in fisheries business, boat building, marine vessel operations, construction, river logging, and trapping, with other opportunities in development.
Ryan Air Assistance Project
On March 20, 2011, the Ryan Air warehouse was destroyed by a fire in Emmonak, Alaska. Wilfred Ryan Jr., the owner of Ryan Air, planned to build a new warehouse and Kwik’Pak Fisheries offered help. James Kameroff, the Emmonak agent for Ryan Air, expresses a great deal of grateful for the help that Kwik’Pak provided.
While Ryan Air’s new warehouse was under construction, Ryan Air stored their mail, by-pass, and freight in the Kwik’Pak and Grant Air warehouses. Three local Kwik’Pak employees helped construct the new warehouse, developing both ther construction and metal fabrication skills in the process. Kwik’Pak barged gravel from St. Mary’s to Emmonak for the foundation of the new warehouse. The foundation was in and construction of the steel shell was underway by late July, 2011, with plans to complete the construction of the new Ryan Air warehouse within 30 days.
The new building is 40 foot square and 16 feet high. This new warehouse benefits not only Emmonak but also Kotlik, Alakanuk, and Nunam Iqua. James Kameroff would like to thank Kwik’Pak Fisheries and Grant Aviation for all the help and cooperation provided while their new warehouse was under construction. See more images of Ryan Air Building Project.
Drift Log Demonstration Project
Motivated by a regional lack of employment opportunities and a need for quality housing solutions, the YDFDA launched a new construction project utilizing drift logs delivered by the river to construct a demonstration log house on the lower Yukon delta.The project provided employment to hard working locals and created a fine example of a solution to the regional housing deficit.
The demonstration log house was completed about about 90 days of construction. With the floors polished and last electrical wires circuited, the hard-working employees felt proud of their well-done job. This newly built log house overlooks the river that delivered the wood it was made from, and was built by people who live in the immediate vicinity. Many of the local employees have worked with professional electricians, plumbers, and construction workers, learning how to apply new skills in their own backyard. Boys and Girls Club Building Project photographs.
4th Annual Edward Andrews Logging Expedition 2011
“This year we honored our logging expedition to the late elder and the first logging foreman and captain, Edward Andrews, of Nanvaruk, by starting the expedition downriver where he made the first logging raft above Paimuit.” –Herman Hootch, 2011 Logging Foreman
On June 1, 2011, Captain Stuart Okitkun led his crew more than 200 miles up the Yukon River to start their annual logging expedition. Exactly two weeks later, they returned to Emmonak with over 150 drift logs bundled together. YDFDA also buys drift logs from local individuals who find time to gather logs on their own. YDFDA mills drift logs from the river into finished lumber, utilizing a natural resource for projects such as the newly built demonstration log house and the Kwik’Pak Fishermen’s store. This is an inexpensive alternative to shipping lumber to secluded areas like the Lower Yukon region.
Yukon Marine Manufacturing
Fire destroyed the old wooden Yukon Marine Manufacturing (YMM) building in Emmonak, Alaska in the winter of 2010. Ragnar Alstrom, the YDFDA Executive Director, and designer Jim Christianson identified the need to build a larger and stronger YMM building using steel. This upgraded steel facility is cost effective and has more safety advantages than the previous wooden building. The outcome is a 60’x80’x20’ steel building. Construction began June 20th, 2011 (see more images). The previous YMM building wasn’t intended for welding but served as a makeshift welding facility. A team of five constructed this new YMM building, three of which are local employees from Emmonak. This new building is more modern and designed to serve as a welding facility. The steel floor is elevated higher than any recorded flood level in Emmonak, further protecting it from natural disasters.
Marvin Kelly, one of the local employees constructing the new YMM building, stated that this new building has more “head room” than the previous building. Instead of hauling boats out of the building to flip or turn them around, employees can lift, turn, and move aluminum skiffs inside using ceiling-mounted cranes, saving time and money. Fred Moore, another local employee, said that three to four boats can be welded at a time compared to one or two boats in the previous building. This construction job provided Fred with new experiences in the welding industry.
Jim Christianson said that he is very pleased with the local help provided by Kwik’Pak Fisheries. In spite of the weather, Jim and his crew are able to stay on time and on budget. “Jack Schultheis [General Manager of Kwik’Pak Fisheries] has been extremely important and helpful to the success of this building,” Jim added. The project was wrapped up by mid-August, 2011. “If we didn’t set a record from start to finish on this building, we’re close.” Contact Yukon Marine Manufacturing at 907-949-1204 or 907-949-6430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Yukon River Towing
Located in the Lower Yukon River village of Emmonak, Yukon River Towing is uniquely positioned with vessels and equipment to help clients complete projects across the Delta. Yukon River Towing is a wholly-owned Alaskan subsidiary of the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association. Yukon River Towing formed in January of 2010. The mission of YRT is to provide employment opportunities to local residents through barging and construction projects throughout the Lower Yukon region. The company has rapidly established itself since its founding by barging gravel, road repair and construction, home building, and river logging products. It employs a substantial number of workers and has participated in several projects. The company has seven landing craft style vessels and two freight barges.