Ben Matheson, KYUK - Bethel
Ben Matheson is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.
At Thursday’s Yupiit Nation fish forum in Bethel, long-term planning for tribal fishery co-management took a backseat to the anxiety and uncertainly surrounding the current king salmon restrictions.
A Bethel man is facing charges for driving a boat under the influence of alcohol. Wildlife Troopers on Sunday night heard a report of a boat that was being driven erratically in Aniak Slough.
Officials are not speaking about the recent referral of the Bethel City Council’s investigation into contracts, nepotism, and personnel issues to the District Attorney’s office.
The Bethel Test Fishery put nets in the water five days early this year. With no salmon fishing happening in the early season, the test data will be central to understanding the strength of the king run and helping managers decide when to open up for other species.
Tribal representatives took the first steps on Wednesday towards establishing the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. The group intends to push for co-management of salmon stocks and more direct involvement for tribal fisherman.
On the day that the summer’s king salmon restrictions began, the Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group met to hash out the details of this summer fishing plans. Managing a precarious king salmon run along 700 miles of river will be anything but simple.
The National Transportation Safety Board took the unusual move last month of asking the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the Ravn family of companies. A report says Hageland failed to achieve safety outcomes, at the time losing operational control and launching flights without proper oversight. The company’s CEO says the report does not reflect the changes Ravn has made in recent months.
Just weeks before the salmon run begins in earnest, discussions are underway to form two inter-tribal fish commissions, one each for the Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers.
The waters of Kuskokwim River are free of ice and at the moment open to subsistence king salmon fishing, but that could quickly change, depending on how many fisherman are targeting and catching king salmon in a year that managers believe is crucial for viability of the run.
The Alaska Alcohol Beverage Control Board says two Bethel establishments have been illegally allowing patrons to bring in and consume their own alcohol, operating as what’s known as “bottle clubs.” But two conflicting statutes in the state alcohol law put certain clubs in a gray area.
The Bethel City Council met Monday night in executive session for three hours with the attorney they hired to conduct an investigation into nepotism, contracts, and personnel issues.
Bethel’s Megan Leary is the 2014 first runner up of the Miss Indian World competition, which concluded Saturday night at the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Federal Subsistence Board Thursday unanimously approved a special action request from the Napaskiak Traditional Council that would limit any available king salmon to federally qualified subsistence users of 32 specific Kuskokwim communities.
The National Transportation Safety Board has published a preliminary report about the crash that killed two pilots near Three Step Mountain.
The Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center predicts the Kuskowkim will break up at Bethel between May 9th and May 15th. That range is right around the historical average of May 12th. But after a warm winter with little snow, the Forecast Center says this year’s breakup could happen in one of several ways.
Fishers on the Kuskokwim River are expecting unprecedented restrictions to bring more king salmon to spawning grounds. On the Yukon River, fisherman can expect a similar set of restrictions.
The National Transportation Safety Board has finished its on-scene investigation into the crash that killed two Hageland Aviation pilots Tuesday. Derrick Cedars of Bethel and Greggory McGee from Anchorage died in Tuesday’s crash.
A Cessna 208 with two pilots on board has crashed outside of Bethel. Ravn Alaska spokesperson Steve Smith confirms the downed plane was a Hageland Aviation training flight with two pilots on board, and no passengers.
Two months before what would normally be time for king salmon fishing, Kuskokwim residents have a sketch of what the summer’s conservation measures will look like. There will be no directed king salmon fishing. For other chum and red salmon, managers are setting no hard dates for the first gillnet opening, other than its anticipated in the last week of June. The Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group last week painstakingly came to a consensus on conservation measures.