Christine John lists all the fish they have in Crooked Creek: “We have king salmon, dog salmon, silvers, and reds.”
I asked Mishka Andreanoff, aka Johnny Boy, “What’s your quota?”
Johnny Boy replied, “As much as I can eat.”
That’s Mishka Andreanoff and Christine John speaking with KYUK’s Petra Harpak during her trip up the Kuskokwim River this summer. They are among the many voices on the third and final edition of a program about upriver fishing.
The years have seen many changes, but possibly the biggest change is the warming climate and what it is doing to the fish. Christine John, who grew up on the river, has not seen anything like she saw this summer as she worked at Crooked Creek, putting fish away for winter.
Christine explains how the weather has affected her fish. “I think the weather is too warm for the fish. The fish, they have worms. And I used to never see that kind of fish, long time ago. Nowadays we see worms and pus in the fish. We have to throw them away, which I don’t like to throw away fish, my food. But that’s scary to eat that kind of fish. We don’t know how it’ll affect us. Tried to get our salmon for the winter because food is too expensive up here in Crooked Creek. We don’t have that kind of money to buy food in the store, so we live off of our own native food as much as we can.”
Listen to the full conversation to hear more about fishing in Crooked Creek, Midway, Sleetmute, and Napaimute on Coffee @ KYUK.