Hunting & Fishing

Stories related to subsistence/commercial/sport: hunting, fishing, gathering activities.

Silver salmon fills the bottom of a boat during a subsistence opening in August 2016 near Bethel.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Hopes for a commercial fishery on the Kuskokwim river have officially been dashed. 

Dept. of the Interior

Update 9 a.m. August 1, 2017: The FAA has fixed the weather observation system in St. Mary's, and large planes are now able to fly in and out of the airport.  

Original story posted July 31, 2017: The number of fish buyers on the Yukon River remains at one: Kwik’Pak Fisheries based in District 1. That number was set to rise to two on Monday, but problems with air transportation prevented it.

Katie Basile / KYUK

On Saturday night, a tired crew of volunteers dragged a large gray whale carcass onto shore near the Napaskiak airport. The whale was gray, bloody, and barnacled, and the men who set to work butchering it said that it was at least 37-feet long. Residents are still distributing its blubber and meat, saying that it will feed families throughout the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta for months.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Meat and blubber from the whale killed Thursday evening in the Kuskokwim River is currently being distributed to surrounding villages. Six boats dragged the 37-foot long whale to shallow water between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday. A yellow front end loader then carried the carcass to the Napaskiak shore. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

Update 7:00 p.m.: Locals have pulled the whale from the Kuskokwim River onto the Napaskiak shore.

Original story 6:00 p.m.:

Locals continue working to drag the carcass of a large whale out of the Kuskokwim River. A team of boats outside of Napaskiak is still struggling to drag the sunken whale to shore. According to  Napaskiak Tribal Administrator Sharon Williams,  Joe Evon of Search and Rescue was able to hook the whale and drag it 20 feet this morning before the rope he was using snapped in two.

Courtesy of Paul Smith II

A video posted on Facebook Thursday night shows locals shooting a whale in the Kuskokwim River near Napaskiak. The video may be disturbing for some viewers.


Katie Basile / KYUK

Fishermen from Napaskiak and surrounding communities have found the whale that sank to the bottom of the Kuskokwim River after being killed on Thursday.

Courtesy of Paul Smith II from Facebook

Napaskiak and surrounding villages are working to salvage a whale killed yesterday in the Kuskokwim River. Fishermen are currently out on the water during this evening’s low tide, trying to bring the carcass to shore.

The legal implications of this incident are unclear at this point, but it is clear that whales are protected species under federal law and international treaty.

Silver salmon fills the bottom of a boat during a subsistence opening in August 2016 near Bethel.
Katie Basile / KYUK

The lone buyer registered to purchase silver salmon on the Kuskokwim says not to count on him showing up. The processing vessel Akutan was scheduled to anchor in Kuskokwim Bay next week, but its owner says that the bank won’t lend him the money to buy fish. 

Drying salmon strips

Most subsistence users in the Middle Kuskokwim did not get the amount of salmon they were hoping for this season. That’s according to fish surveys conducted by the Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC). They talked with nearly 80 fish camps from early June through last week about their experience fishing on the Kuskokwim River this season.