Hunting & Fishing

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

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.

From left to right, Avery Hoffman, Anna Pavila, and Janessa Esquible spent the summer conducting fish surveys for ONC. Today they share what subsistence users told them about fishing on the Kuskokwim this season.
Katie Basile / KYUK

From early June until last week, Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC) surveyors visited fish camps in the Middle Kuskokwim. They talked with subsistence users about their experience fishing this season, asking how many fish they were catching, how many were caught, if users were harvesting as much as they had planned, and more. Responses varied. ONC has been conducting these surveys for about 15 years. This seaspn, many of the surveyors were local youth. We discuss how youth can get involved with this work, and what they gain professionally and personally when they do. John Active translates the show into Yup'ik.



The question has been out there all season. Will there be enough king salmon arriving at their spawning grounds this summer? A state biologist says that he thinks so.

Gillnet fishing on the Kuskokwim River near Aniak.
Dave Cannon / KYUK

At noon on Thursday, the state will be lifting fishing restrictions on the Kuskokwim River main-stem. 

Gillnets of any size mesh can now be used in these waters but are limited to 50 fathoms in length and 45 meshes in depth. 

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Commercial fishermen in the Yukon River's District Two will have another opening to sell fall chum salmon on Wednesday, July 26. The four-hour opening is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fishermen are restricted to six-inch or smaller mesh gillnets.

Bethel firefighters put out a fire on Sixth Avenue that destroyed the Prince's family's summer subsistence harvest of fish and berries.
Dean Swope / KYUK

After a summer of what some are referring to as the most restrictive fishing the Kuskokwim has ever seen, many freezers are finally full for the winter. That was the case for the Prince family in Bethel until they woke up to find it all lost in a fire. KYUK talked with the family at their home just hours after the firefighters left.