A HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM SERVING UP HIGH QUALITY SALMON
Honeywilya Fish is a small trolling operation based out of Petersburg, Alaska, just south of Juneau. Lynn Steyaart, captain of the namesake 30-foot vessel, Honeywilya, looks forward to a sense of freedom and anticipation whenever he’s heading out into the open water to search for salmon along the 500-mile Southeast coastline.
During the fishing season, Lynn works tirelessly long days on end and says that “trolling is a marathon not a sprint (fishery).” Each fish is line caught, pulled aboard individually, and personally handled. Unlike some of the larger net fishery operations, Lynn places an emphasis on quality, over quantity. He and a deckhand clean the fish as they come aboard and pack them in ice immediately to lock in freshness until they are delivered to shore.
Lynn’s wife, Maria, while maintaining her own profession, keeps the salmon flowing in Vermont from their home in North Duxbury until Lynn returns in the Fall. Lynn says “it is very difficult to leave every year but someone has to catch the fish and coming home is always that much sweeter.”
lynn steyaart, captain
Lynn is the captain and owner of the Alaskan fishing vessel Honeywilya. His love for fishing started at a young age in coastal Georgia where he spent countless days of his youth sport/subsistence fishing from a small boat with his father and later learning how to fly-fish. After earning his degree at the University of Vermont, Lynn navigated his way to Petersburg, Alaska. Upon arrival, Lynn dove head-first into commercial fishing, making it his way of life. Trolling for Alaskan fish has its mental and physical challenges, but for Lynn the greatest sense of accomplishment is providing his customers with sustainably harvested, high quality, wild seafood.
maria steyaart, VT ground support
Although Maria and Lynn were at the University of Vermont at the same time, they didn't actually meet until they had both moved to Alaska. A native Vermonter, Maria's love for being outside earned her a position as a wilderness ranger on an island just south of Petersburg, Honeywilay's home port. After a number of years in Alaska, Lynn and Maria returned home to Vermont, their first love, where Maria lives full time. When she's not doing projects around the house or hiking Vermont's peaks, you can find Maria slinging fish at the farmers markets and packing up the community supported fishery boxes!
Honeywilya, our 31' Monterey Clipper, has been part of the family since 2009. Lynn and the Honeywilya are members of the Southeast Alaska troll fleet and based out of Petersburg, Alaska. Trollers use hook and line to entice salmon onto their lures and do NOT use nets to extract salmon en masse from the water. This allows for an attention to detail and an eye for quality with each individual fish. Due to their low volume catch and minimal ecological impact, trollers are allowed to fish for longer periods of time, if not throughout the year, which differs significantly from other fisheries. For this reason, when you buy Honeywilya Fish you are saying "YES" to sustainability, minimal ecological impact, and a Certified Responsible Fishery.
Honeywilya fishes out of Petersburg, Alaska for at least six months of the year! Petersburg is located halfway between Juneau and Ketchikan, with a population of roughly 3,000 people, and a strong Norwegian heritage. Commercial fishing is the driver of Petersburg's economy, dominated by salmon, halibut, black cod, king, crab, and herring.
In addition to fishing, Petersburg is known as a beautiful tourist destination. Because of the difficulties in landing large ships in Petersburg's harbor, the town does not experience the high volume of cruise visitors like neighboring Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan. Petersburg sits on breathtaking Frederick Sound, the summer feeding grounds of hundreds of humpback whales, and the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness Area, which features the spectacular LeConte Glacier.
If you've been on a cruise to Alaska, you've probably passed through!