Along the Yukon River, Alaska’s intense summer wildland fires and ongoing gear restrictions for subsistence fishermen are keeping fishing to a minimum.
Salmon is life here, but the region has been facing a depressed salmon stock for decades. In hopes of identifying the salmon shortfalls in Norton Sound and making improvements, regional stakeholders look to the Comprehensive Salmon Plan, or CSP, as a roadmap.
“It’s inevitable that during this volunteer experience we grow into new versions of ourselves,” Caitlin says.
At the end of this successful season, over $4 million paid to fishermen in the Norton Sound region.
Commercial salmon values were at record highs across Norton Sound this summer.
After arriving at our station in June, volunteer news reporter Jenn Ruckel has been working to immerse herself in Western Alaska to understand it, and thereby report on it, better.
Fishing season is winding down with a plentiful coho run—good news for commercial fisheries in Eastern Norton Sound and Norton Bay.
As the salmon season begins tapering off, returns across much of western Alaska have been above average. But there’s one fishery where the commercial harvest is shattering recent precedents: Kotzebue. And the cause is a mix of Mother Nature and marketing.
Alaska State Troopers allege Roswell Schaeffer Sr., 66, abandoned a half shackle of commercial gillnet, leaving 103 salmon to rot.
State managers emphasized record-level chum runs, even as middle and upper river fishermen say they are not yet seeing those returns for themselves.