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There is a COVID-19 outbreak in Hooper Bay, the largest that the region has seen in months, and the largest that Hooper Bay has ever seen. The current outbreak began in May, and 63 individuals have tested positive since then. As of June 18, there were about 40 active cases.

Elyssa Loughlin / KYUK

In their June 22 meeting, the Bethel City Council could vote to extend COVID-19 related emergency mandates by another two months. Up for extension is the declaration of emergency mandate, another mandate that requires either quarantine or testing for unvaccinated individuals traveling to Bethel, and an item that would prevent water shut offs for those who can’t afford to pay their water bill during the pandemic. 

Fishermen use a gillnet to target salmon in the Kuskokwim River near Napaskiak during a subsistence fishing opening on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Families along the Kuskokwim River will have another opportunity to fill fish racks with salmon. Fishery managers announced the season’s third drift net opening based on an assessment of this season’s king salmon run.

Kwik'Pak Fisheries in Emmonak, Alaska on July 15, 2019.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

In recent years, the chum salmon runs on the Yukon River have been low. This year, it is too early to tell how the run will be. But with commercial fishing becoming a less reliable venture, one fishing enterprise is hoping to find stability by turning to veggies.

Elyssa Loughlin / KYUK

The City of Bethel is offering $100 gift cards as incentives for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Anyone who gets their first COVID-19 shot in Bethel on or after June 14 can receive one of the cards. There are 450 available, and they can be used at local Bethel grocers: Corina’s Caselot, Swanson’s Grocery, and Alaska Commercial Company.

Roger Tabor / USFWS

  The Kuskokwim River king salmon run does not look particularly strong this year, but chum numbers look even worse. State biologists say that it’s not yet clear whether the chum run is low or late. 

  

Kuskokwim king salmon caught near Bethel, Alaska on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

State permits are no longer required to fish using gillnets in Subsistence Section 5 of the Kuskokwim River. Section 5 spans from the Holitna River mouth to the headwaters of the Kuskokwim, including the villages of Stony River, McGrath, and Nicolai. 

  

Oscar Samuelson drives the Napaimute plow truck "Tumlista, The One Who Makes a Trail."
Mark Leary / Native Village of Napaimute

They do it every winter, but it was this summer when their work on the Kuskokwim Ice Road was recognized by Alaska lawmakers and the Calista Corporation. Mark Leary, with the Napaimute Transportation Department, said that the recognition comes after a tough winter that stretched their efforts beyond the budget they had carefully constructed.

CVRF

The 20 Y-K Delta communities making up the Coastal Villages Region Fund are now part owners of the Bering Sea crab fishery, opening up a new revenue stream and job opportunities for these villages.

  

Gladys Jung Elementary School in Bethel, Alaska.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Former Bethel elementary school principal Christopher Carmichael’s federal and state sentencing hearings have both been rescheduled for early July 2021. They were initially scheduled for June. 

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2021 Kuskokwim River Salmon Openings And Regulations

COVID-19 case count for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, updated daily M-F.

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KYUK Archives

Each weekday, the community is invited to "Coffee@KYUK" to discuss news and information relative to Bethel and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Hosted By S. Grady Deaton
A free form, caller-driven, opinion show about any and all matters. Hosted by Diane McEachern Fridays at 10:00 a.m.
A talkshow about the little things that help make life healthier. With hosts, Esther Green and Diane McEachern.
Wellness Wednesday is a talkshow about health and wellness throughout the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
Unuakumi Qanemcit Kuigpiim Kusquqviim-llu nuniinek taqellrit KYUK-m qanemcistain Yugtun.
Morning newscasts from and about the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta produced by the KYUK newsroom and aired in English.