National Fisherman

July 19, 2022

Libby 76 sails along Knutson Bay. The proposed road for the development of the Pebble Mine would be located directly above the beach in this picture. Bristol Bay advocates are seeking conservation easements there. Kate Troll picture.

As Libby 76 moved into the eastern end of Lake Iliamna, so does the race of sockeye.

While the west side of Bristol Bay has been crowded, the race continued to build on the east side of Bristol Bay.

On July 14, the total harvest of sockeye salmon was 64.3 million, exceeding the expected harvest of 60 million; an all-time high for Bristol Bay’s 137 years of commercial fishing.

Before leaving the western end of Lake Iliamna, the historic double-ended sailed into Knutson Bay, the region’s most productive place for sea spawning. It is also the place where any path to the development of the Pebble Mine would be located. Although the EPA has not yet finalized its decision on the Pebble Mine, there is a coordinated effort to block the path through three preserved easements.

The Pedro Bay Rivers Project is a partnership between Pedro Bay Corporation, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust and The Conservation Fund. The goal of the project is to preserve 44,170 acres of vital habitats on Lake Iliamna that are vital to the health and vitality of Bristol Bay, the people who live there, and the world-renowned salmon industry.

The project aims to place three conservation easements on lands owned by Pedro Bay Corporation, limiting development and ensuring that watersheds in Pile River, Iliamna River and Knutson Creek are able to support the extraordinary yield of sockeye salmon year after year.

The project aims to raise $ 20 million by the end of the year. Learn more and donate by clicking this link.

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