Dickinson said veterans groups and other volunteers will concentrate their efforts in the region’s needier areas, including Fife Lake, Lake County, Kalkaska and areas outside of Petoskey.
Those wishing to receive fish must bring an appropriate container, such as a cooler, tote or a box lined with a garbage bag. It’s important to clean, cook or preserve the fish on the same day. Food pantries sometimes are unable to accept the fish because they don’t have the resources to clean them, he said.
Dickinson said the number of surplus salmon is unpredictable, so he announces the distribution sites on WTCM, Sunny 101.9 FM, TV 7&4, and TV 9&10.
He urges people who can afford to buy fish to stay away from the giveaways.
“If somebody shows up in a really nice suit and a GMC Yukon, like one did last year, I ask them if they wouldn’t mind not taking any,” he said.
The cost to transport the fish is coming out of the veterans’ pockets, said Dickinson, a Disabled American Veterans service officer.
“If we could give them $20 gas cards, that would be a great help,” he said.
Donations may be sent to the Disabled American Veterans,10309 Diamond Park, Interlochen, MI, 49643.