Ben Matheson, KYUK - Bethel
Ben Matheson is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.
After a summer of long Chinook salmon closures and a weak chum run on the Kuskokwim river, middle and upper river subsistence fishermen eagerly await word about whether the federal government will take control of the fishery.
Former Bethel foster parent Peter Tony will spend the rest of his life in prison. Tony was sentenced Tuesday to 66 years in jail with no parole for three consolidated child sex abuse counts in which he pleaded guilty.
Governor Sean Parnell was in Bethel Thursday to sign a bill intended to help rural families navigate the process of having an autopsy done hundreds of miles away in Anchorage.
Donlin Gold is in a multiyear permitting process for the proposed gold mine located north of Crooked Creek about 120 miles upriver from Bethel. Scientists and engineers are now studying not just Donlin’s proposed plan, but several variations that would significantly change the mine.
Facing federal budget slashing and continued pressure on 8(a) contracting, the Calista Regional Native Corporation is continuing to look beyond federal contracts. The company acquired STG, a major construction company last year and is hoping to grow across the economy.
As the Kuskokwim River king salmon run comes to an end, the Department of Fish and Game is looking toward a commercial chum opening in the lower river Friday. But in a year with unprecedented Chinook restrictions and increased reliance on chum salmon, many middle river fishermen say it’s too early.
Donlin Gold and the Kuskokwim Corporation have signed a surface rights agreement for the proposed gold mine located 120 miles upriver of Bethel. The deal gives the native corporation rights to some construction contracts and sets financial terms for decades to come.
The Bethel City Council has released a redacted version of its investigation into city contracts, nepotism, and personnel issues. The investigation led to the firing of Bethel’s city manager in May and reveals improperly awarded contracts, special agreements, and violations of the city’s previous nepotism rule. It chronicles mismanagement by former city manager, Lee Foley.
After months of planning and studying the numbers, state and federal managers will open the first six-inch-drift gillnet opening on the most densely populated stretch of the Kuskokwim river. The tremendous fishing power will be aimed at chum and sockeye salmon, but managers are moving cautiously to make sure enough king salmon make it to spawning grounds.
Four weeks into salmon fishing restrictions, the atmosphere along the Kuskokwim River is tense. At a meeting Tuesday the stress the closures are causing was obvious. But gillnet fishing for salmon is near.
Four weeks into salmon fishing restrictions, the atmosphere along the Kuskokwim River is tense. At a meeting Tuesday the stress the closures are causing was obvious, but gillnet fishing for salmon is near.
GCI celebrated the launch of 3G data service in Bethel by flying in 6,000 McDonald’s cheeseburgers. The Friday lunchtime crowd stretched out and around the parking lot of the Long House Hotel.
Kuskokwim fishermen looked for some relief from the king salmon restrictions at a Yupiit Nation tribal fish forum in Bethel on Friday.
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.