By Jenny Neyman
As a commercial fisherman, Brent Johnson wants to haul in a big catch. But at 28.5 feet long and about as many tons, what he found in the water Aug. 7 off his family set-net site near Clam Gulch was more than he bargained for.
Johnson was preparing for an early morning Aug. 8 fishing opening when he spotted something that looked a little like an overturned boat floating by about a half mile out in Cook Inlet. Upon investigation he instead found a dead whale.
Johnson said he only knows enough about whales to know it wasn’t a beluga. Beyond that he was stumped, but he did know that he didn’t want the whale floating into his nets when they were set the next morning, so he towed the whale to shore and landed it about 50 feet from the family’s fishing cabin. Any undivided attention due to other duties by anyone in camp at that point was quickly diverted to the whale.
“The crew has clicked pictures like the thing was a supermodel,” Johnson said.
After all, it was hard to miss, both in size and smell.
“I told Brent, ‘Could you have at least pulled it in several hundred feet from us?’” said Brent’s wife, Judy, on Aug. 8. “It’s next to our cabin, and last night it washed closer to us. After tonight it might be right in our driveway.” Continue reading