Keith Colburn

Born March 10, 1963 in Placerville, California

In the winter of 1985, Keith was a Lake Tahoe ski bum looking for a change. At the age of 22, Keith jumped on a plane with his lifelong best friend Kurt Frankenberg. They landed in Kodiak, Alaska with no experience, a tent and $50 dollars. Spurred on by the romantic vision of working at sea and the rumor of big paydays, Keith was determined to try something new and exciting. He started as a true greenhorn on the Alaska Trader, a 135 foot crabber/tender.

The hook was set instantly. The fishing lifestyle and camaraderie of being part of a crew working in and against the elements captured him immediately. While initially looking only for adventure in Alaska’s unknown waters, Keith also found something unexpected: a career. In 1988, he became a full share deckhand on the Wizard. He earned his USCG 1600 ton Mates license in 1990 and made the move from the deck to the pilot house. In 1992, he received his 1600 ton inspected Masters (Captain) license and has remained at the helm as the skipper.

In 2002 Keith and his wife Florence purchased the 100’ crabber F/V Sirene (pronounced Sea-Wren), but continued to operate the Wizard. In 2004, they sold the fishing rights for the Sirene in the Federal Buyback, a fleet reduction program. When the fleet downsized in 2005 from 250 crabbers to 80 under a new Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) system, Keith and Florence purchased the Wizard, but without its valuable IFQs.