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.
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.
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.
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..."
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.