Brothers take on the Bering Sea

Submitted by Stace Sievert

Photo courtesy of WhitmanBTP/instagram

This summer, Beta Theta Pi brothers from Whitman College Sam Harris (Senior) and Will Wrigley (Junior) had the opportunity to be a part of the Port Moller Test Fishery in the Bering Sea, the same water Deadliest Catch is filmed in!

The goal of the fishery is to take samples from the salmon run while the fish are still in the ocean, seven to nine days before the salmon reach the commercial fishing fleet. Each fish that is caught is weighed, measured, and genetic and aging samples are taken. The samples were then analyzed in the biology lab on the vessel. The data collected by Sam and Will is vital for the sustainability and productivity of the largest commercial fishery in the world. This year was the largest salmon run in the history of Bristol Bay, with over 70 million fish returning!

This opportunity would have not been available for Sam and Will if it had not been for Tyler Dann, class of 2000. Tyler is a wonderful alumnus of Beta Theta Pi and serves on the Whitman College alumni board. Tyler is a fisheries geneticist for Alaska Fish and Game and manages several projects, including the Port Moller Test Fishery. Will first became in contact with Tyler during his freshman year thanks to Beta’s strong connection with their alumni. Many opportunities and connections like this are available for the brothers of Beta Theta Pi.