The mighty Yukon River, the longest salmon producing river in the world, begins its journey 900 miles in the Yukon Territory, Canada  and continues another 1400 miles through the rugged no man’s land in Alaska and the vast Yukon Delta before emptying into the Bering Sea. Every year the faithful salmon return to the Yukon and Yupik people after a few years roaming around the the North Pacific. The long journey up the river is not for the ordinary wild salmon. They return healthy and high in Omega 3 to the river bed they originated from and where a new generation is soon to be born.

The Yukon River Keta is the most plentiful species, then Cohos and a small run of Sockeyes as well as Pinks. The Yukon King run is on the mend, thanks to very tight management regulations.

We expect to see a commercial fishery again very soon. 

Kwik’Pak Fisheries, located in Emmonak is the only commercial processor on the entire Yukon River. About 500 fishermen participate in the fishery, catching 5 million lbs. annually. The first Keta show up around middle of June and the fishery lasts through early September. The Coho fishery starts the first week of August and lasts 4-5 weeks. There are no roads in out Emmonak. All fresh fish is shipped by air to Anchorage and distributed from there to the lower mainland, Europe and Japan. Frozen salmon is shipped by barges or cargo vessels to Seattle.

Kiwik’Pak Fisheries, established in 2001, and is a subsidiary of Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association (YDFDA). The Kwik’Pak Region is in Yupik language called “Kuigpagmiut Neqsurtet” (Lower Yukon Fish People). Kwik’Pak is not an ordinary fish company. It is a community that supports a workforce of 500 residents in various capacities, and is provides significant support to the Yupik cultural values and traditions.

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