Wild Salmon of Alaska
Images and text by
J.B.Russell
reportage
Alaska's Bristol Bay is an enormous watershed wedged between the Bering Sea and the Aleutian mountain range of the Alaska Peninsula. It is a remote and isolated region accessible only by air or by sea and it is home to the world's largest wild salmon run. The upper reaches of the lake and river systems that feed into the bay are the natural spawning grounds for hundreds of millions of sockeye salmon.

In a remarkable feat of nature, each Summer during a brief three to four week period salmon instinctively return to spawn in the gravel of the same lake and river beds of their birth after years of living in the open North Pacific. Spent from this Herculean effort, they die, at once ending and renewing their life cycle. Salmon fishing, the principle source of income for the tiny communities in the region, is central to the human life cycle in Bristol Bay as well.