Smelts arrive on the Lower Kuskokwim River

by Angela Denning-Barnes on May 27, 2011

Smelts should be arriving at Bethel any day now. As of Friday afternoon, the very first smelts showed up at Napakiak on the afternoon tide.

So, it looks like it will be a Memorial Day weekend trip up the river for the fish.

No one knows exactly how many smelts run up the Kuskokwim to spawn every year, but it seems like millions. Fish biologists are not even sure where the fish spawn.

It is known, however, that they travel upriver to about Kalskag. Aniak residents say they almost always travel downriver below Kalskag for smelts. They say it is very rare for them to catch them upriver of Kalskag.

It is also known, that smelt taste really good breaded and fried, and just plain boiled.

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