From a stranded seal to a dangerous hole in Yukon River ice, recent stories from KNOM’s news department offer a special glimpse into what makes Western Alaska so unique — and, at times, so challenging.
Search and Rescue personnel are marking the hole, which is located near the OP Lighthouse and the spit. The hole is on the left side of the Yukon for those traveling upriver.
A large mid-August pulse of fall chum and coho salmon is keeping commercial fishermen busy in the lower river, but those upriver say they have yet to meet their subsistence needs.
Firefighters from St. Michael, Kaltag, and Chevak are among those offering support in the Lower 48.
After a break between the summer chum and the fall chum runs, “fish camps are coming to life again” along the Yukon River, fishermen say.
Despite a slow run that’s left Yukon fisherman waiting for fall chum, Jeff Estensen with Fish and Game said “(by) all accounts, it definitely seems like we have a pulse of fish going upriver.”
Fishermen expressed frustration about gear restrictions, closures, and potentially infected fish.
Along the Yukon River, Alaska’s intense summer wildland fires and ongoing gear restrictions for subsistence fishermen are keeping fishing to a minimum.
Yukon salmon managers anticipated an early season for both Chinook and chum, but now, both runs are looking closer to average – that’s why they say most communities along the Yukon currently have empty fish racks.
Despite another year of exceptionally low king salmon runs, managers along the Yukon River say there should be a strong summer chum run and a chance for small, incidental take of Chinook.