The events are sponsored by Bethel’s tribe, Orutsararmiut Native Council, and supported by the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
This year, directed king salmon fishing is prohibited on the Kuskokwim River due to low returns. But Federal Managers have authorized 32 villages along the Kuskokwim and coastal areas to participate in the special harvest of less than 1,000 king salmon.
Under the system tribal councils administer the permit. Zack Brink, ONC Executive Director, says the harvest and dinner were cancelled because a key staff member has had an unforeseen circumstance that has taken them away from Bethel.
The community dinner was set for June 20th. ONC was allowed to harvest up to 100 king salmon. It’s unclear whether ONC will reschedule their social and cultural harvest and dinner.
Some tribes are refusing to participate in the social and cultural harvest because they say they’re not allowed to harvest what they need.
The special permits allows for fishing, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 9pm and expires on June 30, or when the quota for the village is met.