Bristol Bay:  A Watershed For The Ages

Woven into the landscape and culture of Bristol Bay is the principle of true sustainability. Two hundred generations have made their home in Bristol Bay, and embraced this splendid wild salmon resource as an essential element of daily life.

The Nushagak and Kvichak River drainages comprise a pristine environment that is the most ideal wild salmon habitat on earth. Inhabiting this watershed, the Yupik and Dena’ina people are two of the last intact salmon-based cultures in the world. Salmon are central to the entire way of life here, both as food and as the foundation of language, spirituality and social structure. In the Bristol Bay region, salmon constitute more than 50% of all subsistence harvest, which provides 80% of the protein source for those living in the region.

For over 130 years the Bristol Bay commercial fishery has supplied the world with the finest, nutritious salmon on earth. Alaska, the only state that has sustainability written into their Constitution has been the overseer of this magnificent resource since being granted Statehood in 1959.

The Bristol Bay Salmon Management Plan administered by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is recognized as one of the most effective, comprehensive resource management regimes in the world, providing stewardship of Bristol Bay’s core asset for all stakeholders for generations to come.

Bristol Bay Through the Eyes of Filmmaker/ Commercial Fisherman Elijah Lawson