Meet the Alaska Charter Association Directors
Jeff Wedekind, Ketchikan, AK. Jeff has livened in Ketchikan since 1980 and spent time on the water commercial fishing until the mid 90’s. In 2005 Jeff built Chinook Shores fishing lodge North of Ketchikan, which caters to both guided and self-guided fishermen. Jeff is sincerely interested and knowledgeable in preserving all fisheries (commercial & sport). Jeff is sympathetic to the allocation issues facing sport fishermen, charter fishermen and lodges alike. Jeff is very familiar with fish politics after participating for 4 years at the NPFMC meetings and has also been on the Ketchikan Board of Fish advisory committee. Jeff has enjoyed working with members of ACA, CHTF and SEAGO over the past several years in our ongoing struggle to get fair and equitable allocations for all sort and charter fishermen.
Theresa Weiser, Sitka, AK. I own and operate Wild Strawberry Lodge in Southeast Alaska. We accommodate 40 guests and run seven vessels. I have been in the sport fishing charter and lodge business for 27 years. I moved to Alaska from Charleston, OR in 1978. I have been a lodge owner, charter captain and an owner of Alaska Premier Charters, Inc. since 1990; and have lived in Sitka, Alaska since 1985 as a year round resident. I have been active in the Sitka Charter Boat Operators Association since 1991 and I am their current vice president, as well as a member of NACO. Having been active with charter issues both at NPFMC and with the BOF for many years, as well as serving on the ACA Board for the last six years, I do not believe in privatization of the resources and want to continue working to protect the rights of all recreational anglers. It has been an honor to be a member of the ACA Board these last six years.
Richard Yamada, Juneau, AK. I own and operate a sport fishing lodge on Shelter Island, Southeast Alaska. We accommodate 20 guests and run five boats. I have been in business for 35 years. I came to Alaska in 1972 and lived my first eight years in Fairbanks, working for the University of Alaska and later for Tanana Chiefs Conference, a Native Regional Non-Profit Corporation. I moved to Juneau in 1980 and opened Shelter Lodge in 1982. I have learned much since becoming involved in ACA as a board Member. I’ve attended IPHC, NPFMC, and Alaska Board of Fish meetings over the past eight years.
Jimmy Akana, Seward, AK. My name is James Akana and I have a keen interest of becoming a board member for the Alaska Charter Association. I have been working in the charter industry for over twenty- five years. My career first started out in the late 80’s fishing the Channel Islands in California down to San Diego working as a deckhand. During this time we primarily fished inshore day trips. However, as my experience grew, I started working on long range tuna fishing trips in the area. In 1992 I moved to Maui, HI when I acquired my captain’s license shortly thereafter. On Maui, we primarily fished off shore big game species such as Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo and Dorado. I also ran an inshore light tackle fishing charter boat during my time on Maui. My first trip to Alaska was in the spring of 1998 where I worked on a commercial fishing vessel obtaining Halibut and Black Cod. I continued to work back on fishing vessels in Maui after my first Alaska experience in 1998. In 2001 I decided to make Alaska my home and secured a charter captain’s position with the Fish House Charters in Seward, Alaska. I still currently work for the Fish House and have been the Port Captain since 2003. I presently run a 50 foot Delta and manage a fleet of four more vessels ranging from 27-43 feet. In my winter seasons I have had the experience and opportunity to fish the Great Barrier Reef in Australia working as a first mate on a 72 ft vessel for a private boat owner for two years. I have also had the fortuity to work for a different private boat owner running a 70 ft. fishing vessel through Central America and Mexico for six years. In the last five years I have spent my winters back on Maui running inshore light tackle fishing charters.
Matt Kopec, Whittier, AK. I'm a UAF graduate with a degree in biology and I've been a full time operator and involved in halibut issues since 1998. I own and operate Whittier Marine and Whittier Boat Rental. I'm also a member of the Prince William Sound Charter Boat Association and currently serve on the Charter Halibut Implementation Committee. My goal for our industry is fair and equitable representation, awareness, and a viable and sustainable long term future.
Daniel Donich, Homer, AK. I grew up in Federal Way, Washington. I started fishing in the salt water for King Salmon and Bottom fish and had my first boat at the age of 10. I moved to Homer AK in 1988 and worked as a deckhand for 3 years. I received my captain’s license in 1990. In 1992 I started Daniel's personalized Guide Service and in 2000 we added lodging to our offered services. Our goal is to provide a quality Alaskan experience where we fish for King Salmon and Halibut Year Round. I have been involved in the North Council and the Board of Fish processes since 1992 when they first started talking about restricting Halibut fishing. I also served on the Fish and Game Local Advisory panel and I helped in the successful battle to keep Homer areas 2 fish King Salmon per day bag limit in the winter season.
Mike Flores, Soldotna, AK. I moved to Alaska in 1988 as a guide/pilot for a hunting and fishing outfitter. I guided and flew for several lodges before being picked up by Mark Air express. With the bankruptcy of Mark Air Express in 1995,I returned to my first love of guiding, full time once again. Currently, Ninilchik Charters operates 9 boats in five location on the Kenai Peninsula, We offer marine based hunts out of Kodiak and Prince William sound and two boats based in Talkeetna on the Susitna river. I have a simple guiding principle that underlies my personal fishing efforts as well as my interactions with my clients. “Take what you need, use what you take,” This principle has been ingrained in me through my childhood and through my adult years in the industry. It is a principle that I am teaching to my three sons, as they are involved with the fishing business. I am constantly aware of the privilege we have here in Alaska. Our resources are abundant, but not endless. I am committed to doing my part to maintain this resource by upholding safety, responsibility, fairness, and adherence to all fishing regulations.
Bryan Baker, Homer, AK. Four years ago, I decided to make a change and pursue a career in fishing. Me and my family picked up, moved to Homer, Alaska and have since found the community and lifestyle we have always dreamed of. In just my second year charter fishing, I purchased the Outer Coast to start my own charter business and had a very successful inaugural year. My success came from the advice and help given to me by other charter captains and the fishing community. I have never, in any trade or profession, seen such cooperation as I do in charter fishing in Alaska. This charter coordination and cooperation must be stronger if we want to defend our businesses and livelihoods from threats to the industry. I want to give back to the charters that have given me my success.
Grantley Moore, Juneau, AK. Captain Grantley Moore has lived in Southeast Alaska since he was two years old. He has been involved in the charter fishing business most of his adult life. He worked as a fishing guide in Elfin Cove for four years and currently owns Moore Charters, a sport fishing and whale watching charter business based out of Juneau. His mission is to not only provide a fun and memorable experience for his clients, but also jobs for locals and young people seeking to be a part of the fishing industry. Captain Moore works diligently to stay involved in the fishing industry and is eager to continue his support by serving on ACA board.
Eric Lehm, Homer, AK. Growing up on the East Coast I was part of the commercial fishing/crabbing industry. I started working on charter boats at age 16 fishing for tuna and marlin out of Ocean City, Maryland. I attended the University of North Carolina, Wilmington where I studied Marine Biology. After graduation, I traveled to Homer, Alaska where I have been running charters for the past seven years. I am now in the process of starting my own Charter business in Homer and I would like to be more involved in the charter community. I believe I would be a good candidate for board member with my experience from the East Coast, West Coast, Hawaii, and Alaska.
Jim Martin, Homer, AK - ACA Executive Director, Homer, AK. Jim has been active in fish politics for two decades, having served as a Mendocino County Fish & Game Advisory Commissioner, Vice President of the Salmon Restoration Assn. of Fort Bragg, Ca, and five years as a Groundfish Advisor to the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Other volunteer work included Vice President of the Sonoma County Abalone Network, West Coast Regional Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, and as a Trustee of the California Fisheries Coalition. He moved to Alaska in 2015, having worked with the ACA at various times since 2005. He has two grown daughters and he and his wife live in Homer and they sportfish out of a 22-foot panga called the Sea Star.