The Salmon Harvest

Video by: Will Lyons of Ridgeline Motion Pictures

From the filmmaker:

I am not an editor. I shoot to tell stories. This is the story of some Alaskan friends of mine, practicing one of the privileges unique to residents of Alaska.

“Under Alaska’s subsistence statute, the Alaska Board of Fisheries must identify fish stocks that support subsistence fisheries and, if there is a harvestable surplus of these stocks, adopt regulations that provide reasonable opportunities for these subsistence uses to take place. Whenever it is necessary to restrict harvests, subsistence fisheries have a preference over other uses of the stock (AS 16.05.258).”

Alaska truly is the last American frontier. One glance at the front page of a local newspaper reveals headlines more akin to the wild west than a more modern, “civilized” America. After finishing a job in Alaska last year, the author spent a couple of weeks soaking up the wild landscape in the company of some fine adventurers. On one such occasion, he was invited along to go “dipnetting” for Sockeye on the Kenai Peninsula’s Kasilof River. Having no idea what this meant or where it was, it was assured to be an essential Alaskan experience.

As it turns out, dipnetting is one of many forms of subsistence living to which every Alaskan resident has a right to. In the age of Costco and Walmart, many Alaskans still rely on the annual Salmon harvest for food throughout the year. Many Inuit and some Native American communities revolve around the Salmon’s life cycle, depending on it for food. While many readers may have never heard of dipnetting, it is an annual pilgrimage to rivers such as the Copper, Kasilof, and Kenai which many Alaskans would never miss.

Tricia Kenney, John Cox, Trip Kinney
“Cold” – Denis Simon 
“Snow” – Denis Simon 
“Time Stood Still (Remix)” – Jonathan Whiting 
“The Initiation” – Chris VP

About Harvest, LLC shares stories about food and agriculture. Subscribe to receive stories about the science, history and relevance of agricultural crops grown and harvested around the world.