Barging on Lake Iliamna
Igiugig Transport is a barge service operating on Lake Iliamna, the largest fresh water lake in Alaska. It has been in business since 1998. The barge is made of two fishing boats pushing a Flexi-Float which is owned by the Igiugig Village Council. The Flexi-Float can be taken apart, making it a unique and easy way to transport to other bodies of water. The boats names are Chulyen that means “Raven” and the other one’s name is 11th Hour, which belongs to Marc Watson. Igiugig Transport takes Mark Watson’s boat barging and he takes their boat fishing. AlexAnna Salmon is the Manager. AlexAnna uses a GPS Tracker to see where the barge is and where it’s going.
Igiugig Transport mostly move freight on Iliamna Lake to the communities of Pile Bay, Pedro Bay, Iliamna, Igiugig, Kokhanok, and lodges around the lake. The freight is mainly things that can’t fit on airplanes, such as heavy equipment. Most of the things they barge come from Homer. It takes anywhere from 3 hours to 8 hours to barge to a different community depending on the weather. Fall is the worst time to barge because there is darkness and horrible weather. In late fall the boats get put up at Naknek, and the Flexi-Floats get put away at Pile Bay or Igiugig. Right now Terek Anelon is the main captain. Terek loves working on the barge because he is the boss, although he gets told where to go, and he loves being on the water. He is barging with Robbie Hill. Usually 1-3 people work on the barge. It’s a dangerous working place. That’s why the workers get paid a lot. Nobody has been hurt on the barge in their records. However in 2011 Igiugig Transport sunk a boat, the Island Runner, and that was their first incident. The largest business expenses are fuel, insurance, maintenance, and Flexi-Float Rentals. There is a website if anybody has any questions: www.sayakrentals.com.