Communities grieve loss of well known fisherman lost near Kodiak

The Alaska State Troopers announced this week they were looking into the death of Rubye Blake, a 33-year-old from Seward, after her body was found in Uganik Bay on Kodiak Island on May 5. 

The agency said Blake was part of a hunting outfitter crew, and was found dead approximately 100 yards from the boat near the beach when the rest of the hunters came back to the vessel later that day. Kodiak Troopers responded to the emergency call and conducted an on-scene investigation, according to the dispatch report. Blake was the only adult on the boat when she died, and no foul play is expected, Troopers said.

Rachel Kallander, who knew Blake and her husband Derek Blake, said Wednesday that the pair used to live in Cordova and fish in the local fleet — both active in guiding and fish advocacy.

Many photos on Facebook show Blake enjoying family time with her husband and baby in the outdoors. In a May 3 post Blake is seen holding her baby from shore after a boating trip.

The 33-year-old, as well as her twin sister Denali Strabel, were both well-known athletes in Alaska. According to Alaska’s News Source, Blake won two high school state cross country championships in 2004 and 2006 — her sister also taking home her own title in 2005. The twins’ mother Patti Foldager also won the women’s Mount Marathon race in 1985 and 1993, Alaska’s News Source reported.

Strabel said in a Facebook post that losing her sister last week was like losing “half my soul.”

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“A twin who loses their twin is said to live the rest of their life longing for connection,” she wrote. “I lost my spark the moment she left this world.”

Blake’s death comes just after the community lost retired Alaska Wildlife Trooper Alex Arduser, 44, who was found dead and partially submerged in the water a couple miles from a sandbar off Egg Islands near Cordova on April 25.

Blake’s remains were sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for further investigation, according to the Troopers.    

Rachel Kallander, the owner and publisher of the Cordova Times, contributed to this report. 

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