Water on the Kuskokwim is low, and nets are coming up mostly empty. Subsistence fishermen along the entire river are reporting this situation. Other fishermen, facing tight restrictions and cultural tension, have decided to refuse to fish.
What’s happening with the kings? That’s the question of the season, the question of the last several years, and it’s the question that state managers are asking Kuskokwim subsistence fishermen to help them figure out.
King salmon have arrived on the Yukon River. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says that the first subsistence-caught king was reported last week. With the kings moving upriver, the state is issuing a series of fishing restrictions.
Beginning June 12, management of king salmon on the lower and middle Kuskokwim River will switch from state to federal control. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will hand over management to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Greg Roczicka died Sunday night at his home in Bethel at the age of 61. His death is a loss for the community. Roczicka grew up on the Kuskokwim, living a subsistence lifestyle and dedicating his career to championing and preserving the way of life that he loved and knew the region depended on.