Ball gown made from brailer bags by Nomar of Homer was featured at the Expo “wearable art” fashion show.


It’s months away but plans already are underway for Bristol Bay Fish Expo #3 set for June 9 and 10 in Naknek. Naknek swells from about 400 to 12,000 people as the world’s biggest sockeye fishery gets underway each summer and it’s the hub for 10 major processors and a fleet of nearly 1000 boats.

The Fish Expo brings the industry and community together. That was one main aim for the event – the bigger goal is to raise money for Little Angels Childcare Academy.

“In many ways we are so fortunate because we don’t have to worry like a lot of nonprofits that are always concerned about income. Thanks to the Fish Expo we are doing very well with that.”

Katie Copps is Expo co-organizer along with Sharon Thompson. The event raised about $35,000 for childcare  last year. Copps says it gets an outpouring of support from the region.

“The whole industry loves the event. Everybody from every aspect of the community and industry jumped in to help us however they could to get through the three days and to do everything.”

One of the biggest money makers and fan favorites is the fashion show –

“Here we had local community members with kuspuks made by locals, we had models from the beach gang at AGS, Leader Creek girls put on a dance for us, we had Nomar modeling, the businesses and commercial fishermen, processing plants – the whole gamut of the industry was involved in one aspect of the show. To me that’s what it’s all about.”

The fashions are auctioned off and Copps hopes to attract more wearable art – such as Nomar of Homer’s brailer bag ball gown that stole the show.

“Last year we had some wearable art that was a great part of the show and this year we want to encourage people to bring their wearable art to the fashion show.”

Last year 56 exhibitors were on the show floor and room is being made for more, along with more food offerings.  Registration is open now and early sign ups get a big benefit –

“This year what we’ve done differently is open up a floor plan so people can actually pick what they want and who they want to be by.”

Donations and for the fashion show and auction also are being accepted, along with Expo sponsors. Find out more at