Chignik River’s Salmon Woes Affecting Communities

These are not the best of times for the communities along the Chignik River on the Alaska Peninsula. After an emergency closure of the king salmon fishery earlier this summer, Dillingham’s KLDG radio) put together a heartbreaking story this week about the concern that dwindling salmon returns are devastating adjacent communities. Here’s more:

The Chignik River’s salmon runs have sustained generations in the century-old small fishing communities along the Alaska Peninsula.

But, for the fourth year in a row, the runs came in severely low. For years, residents have struggled to earn a living fishing and to put up enough fish for the winter, and some worry their villages will disappear, taking with them a fishing tradition that connects their families to the region. …

…“If we have another prediction like this year, I don’t think I can come back,” he said. “It’s expensive. ‘Cause you know, we come back, we bring food for the whole summer, ‘cause we’ve got to feed our crews, which you can’t find anymore.”