Vic and Ann: It’s Boring and We Like It!


Jun 16, 2009

Victoria explained why she hasn’t updated us recently about life in Ugashik…

“.. fishing hasn’t started here. Right now we are working on a number of things that are pretty boring or I would be writing about them…Internet is iffy right now but I will try and give an update on the garden and King fishing when I can.

Once her Internet connection is more reliable, Victoria will post a full garden update and keep us up to date with the daily life of the fishing season in Ugashik.

On a more serious note…

This year’s salmon run is expected to be even worse than last year’s.

Fisheries are being closed on the Yukon River early in the season to Alaska’s commercial and subsistence fishermen to make sure enough salmon make it to the spawning grounds in Canadian headwaters.

We need to meet US/Canada treaty obligations that require a certain number of salmon to return to spawn.

There are additional river closures based on worse-than-dismal fish counts because, even without treaty obligations, the rivers need enough fish to survive to spawn.

After enough salmon are counted passing through tracking weirs on the rural Alaskan rivers as they head toward their spawning grounds, fishing will be opened and life will get busy in the villages.

There is still a good chance there will not be enough state sanctioned fishing during this year’s run to prevent the same problems our neighbors faced last year. We need to help find long term solutions to the problems facing residents of modern rural Alaska while preserving their Native roots.

We have the luxury of time on our hands this summer. The problems have been identified and there’s time to write to our congressmen, monitor agencies that overlook fishing policy in Alaska and keep the issue of ensuring healthy fisheries for generations to come in the spotlight.

We’ll have more to come as the season progresses – just want all our friends to know that there’s still much to be done!


13 Responses to “Vic and Ann: It’s Boring and We Like It!”

  1. alaskapi Says:

    Summer is fast and furious here in Alaska. Usually so much to do that a few days of “boring” sounds like a real respite!
    Ann and Vic- enjoy, enjoy!
    We do need to sort out all the fish closures and impacts on folks along the rivers. Planning for winter starts now…

  2. CorningNY Says:

    Hi Ann and Vic,
    I love your posts about life in the villages. It’s not boring to those of us in the Lower 48 living a typical middle-class life! Thanks for keeping us informed.

  3. the problem child Says:

    It does strike me, though, that it may take an entire season of very limited fishing (or maybe more) to give the stocks a chance to rebound. And even then, it might not work. Think of the cod stocks in the north Atlantic, for example.

    Sorry to be depressing, especially when you must be seeing so much sunshine and having such a great summer!

  4. alaskapi Says:

    Ah- the problem child…
    It’s not depressing , it’s likely reality.
    The thing is to figure out what and how folks will get though a re-building of fish stocks time.
    Lots of work ahead…

  5. Jim Says:

    I forgot to mention: Aurora is going to the BLM’s Trailside Discovery camp and learning survival skills (this way Aurora can advise her dad how to survive in the wild!). We ate fresh spruce in last night’s salad. I guess the new spruce growth could perhaps substitute for rosemary.

  6. alaskapi Says:

    Oh Jim – Spruce in salad reminds me of pond scum soup my dad tried out on us as kids- when he was readying a survival skills course curriculum.
    Lesson 1- pond scum soup isn’t too bad
    Lesson2- hide when outdoor science teacher parent is looking for beta testers.

  7. Jim Says:

    I agree with alaskapi: let us know if there is anything during summer months we can do, or advocacy from us that may be helpful. We’re still here.

    Anchorage is having a warm summer. My garden is doing o.k., the pole beans are up and I need to put some plastic mulch down soon to warm their feet. I’ve got some tomatoes set. Yellow beets, potatoes, and peas are up. Celery is doing good. I didn’t plant any cabbage because I’ve been too lazy to build the moose fence. Looks like I might get some cukes and zucchini. And lettuce and herbs. The maggots don’t allow me to grow onions but the chives are good. The wife’s flowers are doing great. I put in raised beds and that seems to help.

    Have fun,

  8. Jim Says:

    Alaskapi: Pond Scum Soup just doesn’t sound like a first choice on the menu to me. But if I was starving that would be another matter . . .

    Victoria: They’re getting a large first sockeye run on the Kenai River. They raised the fly fishing limit to 6/ day. Hope things go well there too.

  9. UgaVic Says:

    Jim – We are watching the returns on the King/Chinook throughout Western Alaska and will try and offer some suggestions on how to help IF we can see avenues.

    Definitely encouraging people to try Keta/Chum or Sockeye salmon as an alternative to Chinook so that fishermen have a strong market for those fish will help directly back to fishermen.

    Also we can see a REAL need to call for support of more research on these runs.
    This might be an area to start –is to call for the research to help pin point what is happening in our oceans. This is a cause that all west coast states can get behind as it is not just a Yukon issue.

    Gardens here are getting started and I am hearing of small efforts in neighboring villages to do gardening. Also we are trying to get the word out that many of us are willing to help those who are not familiar with canning so they are better prepared.

    Overall things will be heating up soon as we hear that Sockeye are starting to show up in neighboring river systems.

    We will work to give more glimpses of our ‘boring life’ :-)


  10. Kath the Scrappy Says:

    I feel worried about the fish news. So sorry! If they would really deal with the bycatch stuff, that would go a ways to help. In the meantime, though, have a fun adventure!

    Vic, thanks so much for giving up an update!!!

  11. InJuneau Says:

    Hey Ann and Victoria–

    I send you an e-mail last night about shipping you a bunch of yarn. Please let me know when you have a chance (you wouldn’t believe how much I’ve got for you!).

  12. InJuneau Says:

    Oops, I “sent”…

  13. alaskapi Says:

    InJuneau has a LOT of yarn- I saw it! Just haven’t had time to let you know…( thank heavens you popped in neighbor from Juneau!)

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