Weekend event is a salute to halibut and vintage wooden fishing vessels

Sea shanties, fish poetry, a community fish fry, a presentation on halibut ecology by Claude Dykstra of the International Pacific Halibut Commission, and more are on the agenda for the 2016 Homer Halibut Festival Sept. 8 through Sept. 11.

The event, with 14 sponsors ranging from the Alaska Marine Conservation Council and Trident Seafoods to Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Alaska, Salmon Sisters and Cook Inletkeeper, is being held this year in conjunction with the Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat Society’s Wooden Boat Festival. Also on the agenda are events sponsored by the Center for Alaskan Coastal studies and the Kachemak Bay Running Club.

The festival will get under way on Sept. 8 with the Kachemak Bay Coast Walk Kick-off, at the Land’s End Resort, where chowder will be served and participants can choose a zone on Kachemak Bay to participate in beach clean-up. Over the past 29 years, volunteers have collected thousands of pieces of debris, to the benefit of seabirds, marine mammals and fish who would otherwise suffer devastating effects of marine debris.

Also on the agenda that night will be a gathering at the Salty Dawg saloon, led by the Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat Society, featuring sea shanties, tall tales and fishing poems.

The Alaska Marine Conservation Council and Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat society will host a reception on Sept. 9 with light refreshments, plus a presentation on halibut ecology by Dykstra, a research biologist with the IPHC, and a viewing of “Tordenskjold,” a film about one of the North Pacific’s historical wooden halibut schooners.

The Wooden Boat Festival on the Homer Spit is slated for Sept. 10, with a number of booths featuring traditional handcrafts, food and clothing items, plus boat builders showing their handiwork. The Alaska Marine Conservation Council will host a free community fish fry with beer-battered halibut and fresh veggie sides donated by local fishermen and farmers. A dinner-auction-dance event will follow, with live and silent auctions to benefit KBWBS and AMCC.


Winding up the weekend will be the Halibut hustle 5K Fun Run, also on the Homer Spit, a continuation of the Wooden Boat Festival and a chantey sing-along with the Anchorage band Rogues and Wenches.

The complete agenda is online at