Subsistence life

by Peter Twitchell

For a hundred years before I ever heard about a deep sea fishery our salmon population was strong.

After half that time since the 1970s our salmon fishery has dwindled to what it is today. Now in 2020 they are blaming the tigers of the ocean, the orcas for the absence of our great Chinook salmon.

Everybody and their uncle have taken our salmon stock from our Alaskan waters. Even foreigner have taken the cream of our salmon roe, herring roe. Now our fishing grounds have been depleted to the point our smokehouses are empty and barren.

The little guy has suffered the consequence of over regulation of our local fishery.

One summer after work I rushed to pull my 40 foot subsistence net out of the Kuskokwim River above Bethel. I was 10 minutes late making the deadline. I was fined $100.00 to satisfy the State of Alaska. For too long the State has failed terribly to take care of us subsistence fishermen, and for too long we paid the cost.

Just look around you. Look to the Southeast. Where are the kelp that used to be heavy with herring roe? Today we have to hunt for what little of our subsistence foods we can muster us.

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