Hunting & Fishing

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

Petra Harpak / KYUK

Kalskag is tiny, but it is one of the larger communities up the Kuskokwim. It is also the focus of part two of Petra Harpak’s exploration of the fishing life upriver. Some things remain the same all along the river. Men like Michael Savage don’t cut fish.

When asked if Michael cuts fish, he said, “I just fish. My wife and kids, they do the cutting.”

I asked Bolossa Michaelson, “Do you eat tepeq, [fermented fish head]?”

National Park Service

Moose hunting season opened on Saturday along the Lower Kuskokwim. As of Tuesday afternoon, about 50 moose have been reported harvested. 

Petra Harpak / KYUK

This summer, KYUK’s Petra Harpak headed up the Kuskokwim to learn how fishing upriver differs from the downriver fishing she knows.

It didn’t take her long to find someone taking a unique approach to smoking fish.

“I grew up using the standing live cottonwood, but after living in Holy Cross, they use the standing dry cottonwood and it’s got a really good dry smoke and it makes the fish taste a lot better. So, I think I’m the only person who goes out to get the drift cottonwood without the bark,” said Dorris Allain.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Bull moose season will open for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in just a week and a half. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is issuing permits (RM615)  for Unit 18 right now.

The gray whale killed in the Kuskokwim River is harvested, and the meat and blubber distributed on July 29, 2017.
Katie Basile/KYUK

A federal report concluded that the hunters who killed a gray whale on the Kuskokwim last summer didn’t know they were doing something illegal.

Emergency Moose Season Opener For Tuluksak Residents

Aug 17, 2018
Google Maps

The Federal Subsistence Board has opened an emergency moose season, but only for Tuluksak. The moose opener begins on Saturday, August 18, and ends on August 31. 

A fisherman pulls a king salmon from the Kuskokwim River during a subsistence fishing opening on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Healthy numbers of salmon are reaching their Kuskokwim spawning grounds this season, according to state standards. Across salmon species, state-issued escapement goals are being met. These goals are set to help ensure sustainable runs and future subsistence harvests.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Silver salmon are now arriving in the lower Kuskokwim River. The state-operated Bethel Test Fishery began catching silvers on Sunday of this week.

Napaskiak fishermen pull a gillnet out of the Kuskokwim River during a fishing opening on June 12, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Multiple fishing restrictions are being lifted on the Kuskokwim River at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, July 26. Kuskokwim tributaries are meeting their state-issued escapement goals for king salmon, and the state estimates that 99 percent of the species has moved out of the lower river. As a result, the state says that the situation no longer warrants conservation measures for kings in the lower waters.

Petra Harpak / KYUK

We’re beginning to get a look at the number of king salmon that are reaching their spawning grounds in Kuskokwim river tributaries. The data comes after another summer of conservation restrictions on king salmon fishing. The numbers allow subsistence families to see the results of their sacrifices and for fishery managers to gauge the effects of their decisions.