Hunting & Fishing

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

Marine Mammal Commission

Two weeks ago, locals killed a gray whale on the Kuskokwim river without international or federal authorization. Meanwhile, a tribe in the lower 48 has been fighting a political battle for decades to gain recognition for its traditional right to hunt gray whales.

Chris Johnson / NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Today on Fish Talk, KYUK continues our conversation about gray whales by discussing the long political struggle the Makah Tribe in Washington state is undergoing to regain its whaling rights.

A wood bison makes its way through the tundra.
Credit Alaska Department of Fish and Game

After over 20 years of hard work, a dogged crew of wildlife managers has successfully reintroduced wood bison to the tundra of Southwest Alaska. Now, they’ve received an award for it. This week, the state Fish and Game department announced that the Wood Bison Reintroduction Team received a special achievement award for its work from the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Commercial Opener on Lower Yukon

Aug 8, 2017

The abundance of king salmon on the Yukon River this summer has been larger than average. Much larger than average. More than enough king salmon have swum up the Yukon to Canada than are needed to meet the Canadian harvest share. In fact, it even exceeds the upper end of that harvest share required by the US-Canada Salmon Treaty.  

Michael Whitney visits with local children in Kipnuk.
Courtesy of Michael Whitney.

On Friday, Wildlife Officer Michael Whitney stood in front of a floor-to-ceiling map of Alaska and pointed out each of the Delta villages he works with. "We cover up there, to the coast," he said. "Up through Scammon Bay, Hooper Bay, Kotlik..."

Fresh cut red salmon hangs by the Kuskokwim River in Sleetmute.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

The state estimates that about 15 percent of the silver salmon run has passed Bethel, with many more silvers to come. Other salmon runs are seeing some of their highest numbers ever recorded.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

For the first time this season, commercial fishermen in District 2 of the Yukon River will not have to boat to the edge of their district to sell chum salmon.

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

The plight of the company that wanted to come to the Kuskokwim to buy fish appears to have worsened. 

Tribal Administrator Sharon Williams played an integral part in salvaging the gray whale carcass outside of Napaskiak.
Katie Basile/KYUK

It’s been almost a week since volunteers pulled a gray whale’s carcass to shore near Napaskiak, and Delta residents have cut it down to its bones. Local leaders expect the whale to feed hundreds of people, its blubber and meat shared with villages up and down the Kuskokwim River. It was a busy weekend for them: working around the clock to salvage the carcass, and hoping to avert a social media backlash and legal consequences.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Climate change may be responsible for pushing Alaska’s gray whales up into estuaries and rivers like the Kuskokwim.