It’s preseason here in Bristol Bay. Everyone is hanging gear and getting ready for the fish to show up. Lots of rumors about the number of fish in the river. We have to wait until enough fish swim up the river to spawn before we can go fishing. In fisheries management this is called escapement. It is one of the tools used to manage the salmon fishery and keep it sustainable.
So, for right now, we mend our nets and talk about fish. We wait for our turn to swim up the river. Now, we are all friends sitting around fires and talking about our winters just passed and our up coming summer. We all know that soon we will be competitors, each of us wanting to catch as much or more fish as the other guy. No matter how much we may compete on the water if anyone ever needed help, everyone would have your back. Fishing in the Bay is a brotherhood. As soon as you fish, you are initiated into this brotherhood.
Here's a series of pictures that shows different fishermen at work hanging their nets.