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Free Fish Bin Is Back In Bethel

Katie Basile

The free fish bin is back in Bethel. You can pick up free salmon at the bin, located between Brown’s Slough Bridge and Corina’s Caselot.

It's operated by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Bethel Test Fishery, which harvests fish using gillnets to help determine the number and species composition of salmon currently in the Kuskokwim River. Those fish are then distributed to the community.

Currently, you can expect mostly red salmon in the fish bin, since they are the dominant species in the river right now. You might see some chum in the bin, but this year’s chum run is the lowest on record so far. Any king salmon caught by the Bethel Test Fishery are being distributed to Elders by ONC. And later in the season, you’ll see silvers. The free fish bin in Bethel will be in operation until late August.

State biologist Nick Smith said that Bethel Test Fishery technicians typically deliver fish to the bin twice per day, about three to four hours after high tide.

Greg Kim is a news reporter for KYUK covering environment, health, education, public safety, culture and subsistence. He's covered everything from Newtok's relocation due to climate change-fueled erosion to the Bethel chicken massacre of 2020.