Fish On…Ice

A Norwegian fisherman named Peter Buschmann gazed into the fluorescent blue depths of the mighty Le Conte Glacier in Southeast Alaska, dreaming.

Photo by Jeremy Keith from Brighton & Hove

In the 1880s, millions of pounds of sockeye salmon were salted and shipped to Seattle in wooden barrels. It was risky business preserving fish — ferrying them to steamships, then delivering the barrels 674 nautical miles to Seattle before the fish spoiled. Salmon brokers withheld payment to fishermen for any rotting product. 

 Near the present-day town site of Petersburg, Alaska, Buschmann built a sawmill and docks for his fishing fleet. He chopped up hunks of calved ice from Le Conte Glacier, and floated the bergs 20 miles to his homestead. After harvesting sockeye salmon with his boats, his workers packed the fish in glacier ice. By using slow-melting glacier ice instead of salt, Buschmann preserved the fishes’ red pigment and its preferred fresh flavor for Seattle customers.

In the following years, his family came from Norway to help, along with other immigrants. Life in Petersburg (also called Little Norway) still revolves around the industry of catching and processing fish. Buschmann landed success that no one else had ever tried to catch.

 Do your responsibilities appear to be the size of Le Conte Glacier? Amid the thunderous mayhem of calving ice, floats OPPORTUNITY.

But remember: God has assigned you to ferry “chunks of ice” piece by piece — not the whole glacier.  

There’s plenty of opportunity — free for the taking. The salmon are running thick in rivers and ocean! Build a dock, and prepare to fulfill kingdom ventures with Jesus.


Lord, we give the glacier to you. We are untested in this endeavor, but look forward to the incomparable satisfaction of being used to help build your kingdom—one task at a time.

I Corinthians 15:10

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Proverbs 16:3

 Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts [YOUR DREAMS!!] will be established.


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