Alaskans have deeply personal relationships with their salmon. These remarkable fish provide a fundamental source of food, livelihood, and identity, and connect generations and communities throughout the state. Yet while salmon are integral to the lives of many Alaskans, the habitat they need to thrive is increasingly at risk from large-scale development that threatens both the fish and valued ways of life.
As communities wrestle with how best to ensure that both salmon and people prosper in today’s world, it is clear that Alaskans are united in their desire for their salmon relationships to continue. Forever.
Intrigued that there is still a place in the world where the lives of people and wild salmon are inextricably linked, writer and photographer Amy Gulick ventured to Alaska to explore the web of human relationships that revolve around these extraordinary fish. Commercial fishermen took her on as crew; Alaska Native families taught her the art of preserving fish and culture; and sport fishing guides showed her where to cast her line as well as her mind. Alaskans everywhere, regardless of their wildly different beliefs, shared their salmon riches with her in their kitchens, cabins, and fish camps—it’s the salmon way.