Whale of a memory — Beluga calf experience lives on for rescuers

The Mouth of The Kenai

By Jenny Neyman

Redoubt Reporter

Growing up commercial fishing in Alaska, you’re bound to have some memorable experiences with wildlife. For Indy Walton, of Soldotna, and Shannon Ford, of Seattle — owners of neighboring fishing sites in Bristol Bay — it takes something truly spectacular to top what they’ve already seen.

Ford started helping at her family’s fish camp on the south beach of the Naknek River when she was 9, and now runs the fourth-generation family set-net site. She’s had ravens nest on her cabin’s front porch, seen walruses in the wild and rescued an abandoned seal pup.

“At that point that was the coolest thing — to be able to hold a baby seal. Alaska has got a lot of great stuff,” she said.

Walton started at the family’s set-net site in Bristol Bay when he was a kid. Since he was 12 he spent his summers fishing with…

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