Another video highlighting the sockeye salmon spawning grounds of Bristol Bay, Alaska.
I began working summers in the freshwater systems of Bristol Bay in 2007 as a salmon researcher for the Alaska Salmon Program. Over the years I've learned a great deal about these environments and salmon, and how the ecosystems, people, and salmon support one another in perfect harmony. Alongside my work as a researcher, I've developed a love of documenting these areas as a nature photographer and discovered a sense of purpose in using camerawork to connect people to these landscapes, encouraging their protection, and sharing an appreciation for natural places everywhere.
Having spent so much time connecting to Iliamna Lake and Bristol Bay these areas have come to mean a great deal to me. There aren't many natural places left that are as pristine and perfectly functioning and I hope that it can stay that way forever.
The salmon runs of Bristol Bay, Alaska are by the numbers jaw dropping with millions of fish flooding these wild rivers each summer. There is something mesmerizing about watching these salmon make their final journey to their spawning grounds. Hit play and enjoy a minute of calm.
Produced, filmed, and edited by Jason S Ching 2019
From the Filmmaker:
At every stage of their lives from eggs to adults, sockeye salmon of Bristol Bay, Alaska have endured being hunted by a long list of predators including birds, fish, marine mammals, and people. Nearing the end of their long migration at a precise location where they emerged several years ago, the salmon gather to spawn but first they must escape the last chase.
One of the most compelling stories of the wild sockeye salmon of Bristol Bay, Alaska is of their sacrifice. These salmon are an incredible driver of nutrients supporting an endless list of characters across freshwater and marine environments. It is because their populations are managed, their lives respected, and their pristine ecosystems are studied and maintained that these salmon populations remain as productive as ever and able to sustain life so many including brown bears and freshwater seals of Iliamna Lake.
Walk among the great Alaskan Brown Bears as they forage throughout the sedge grasses. Enjoy this immense and peaceful area - just you & the bears. And on your way there, be prepared to lose count of the bears you'll see from the helicopter. This excursion includes a beautiful mountain, coastal and glacial flight see on your way to see the bears!
"My first bush flight in Alaska gave spark to what would become a passion for flying and remote adventures only accessible by aircraft. To me, the grandeur of Alaska, the thrill of flying and the unique wilderness access is a combination that has no match on Planet Earth. Over 10 years later, we've built a successful business around the "fly out" experience. Enjoy this reel of some of our flying adventures throughout Alaska."
In this modern day, it is truly inspiring to fish and adventure in places that literally have not changed in the past 50-100 years. The salmon runs remain strong, there's been no added fishing pressure, and absolutely no human development. That's what most of us long for. Bristol Bay Lodge is lucky enough to operate two such remote camps as a part of their fly out fishing program in Southwest Alaska. And. . . . this is one of the last best places to target King Salmon on the fly rod.