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Kings of the Yukon: One Summer Paddling…

Kings of the Yukon: One Summer Paddling Across the Far North

by Adam Weymouth

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King Salmon, tied to the culture of the people of the First nation, now making it's last stand in the Yukon. Everything one ever wanted to know about this king of salmon, the days when they thrived, and now their decline. The author sets out on a 2000 mile journey, mostly by canoe, down the Yukon River, starting in Canada and continuing on into Alaska. Along the way he stops, visits villages, talks to natives who have depended on the salmon, as but also as a way of life, tradition. He talks to homesteaders, some reality TV stars, from the various shows now on our television. He contrasts past information, with present day reality. Although climate change is s certainty in its effect on the salmon numbers, he finds it is much more complicated than that.

I enjoyed this book immensely, he is a great fact purveyor, but also an interesting story teller. His description of the river, the fauna, the different cultures and ways of life those he encounters I found engrossing. It is to be expected that those living in what is called the last fronteir, the last wilderness, would be hardy and a different type of character. He takes us back in time to Gold Rush days, when so much of where he passes, was in it's heydey, showing us know how changed, different things are, though the effects still linger. We even get to visit England, where salmon was once do plentiful, it was hunted by dogs. We even get to hear from Charles Dickens, his viewpoint of their diminishing numbers.

Regulations. Salmon farms, a shorter fishing season, now in place to try to conserve and multiply these Salmon, reversing the current trend. Alaska is the last place where it may, of should I say must, get it right, or we humans will have managed to eliminate another once plentiful species. My only regret while reading this book was that photographs were not included. Did appreciate the msp in the front, where I could follow his journey on the river, and the toens, villages where he stopped. ( )
  Beamis12 | Sep 20, 2018 |
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"The Yukon River is 2,000 miles long and the longest stretch of free-flowing river in the United States. In this riveting examination of one of the last wild places on earth, Adam Weymouth canoes from Canada's Yukon Territory, through Alaska, to the Bering Sea. The result is a book that shows how even the most remote wilderness is affected by the same forces reshaping the rest of the planet. Every summer, hundreds of thousands of king salmon migrate the distance of the Yukon to their spawning grounds, where they breed and die, in what is the longest salmon run in the world. For the people who live along the river, salmon were once the lifeblood of commerce and local culture. But climate change and globalized economy have fundamentally altered the balance between people and nature; the health and numbers of king salmon are in question, as is the fate of the communities that depend on them. Traveling down the Yukon as the salmon migrate, a four-month journey through untrammeled landscape, Weymouth traces the fundamental interconnectedness of people and fish through searing and unforgettable portraits of the individuals he encounters. He offers a powerful, nuanced glimpse into indigenous cultures, and into our ever-complicated relationship with the natural world. Weaving in the rich history of salmon across time as well as the science behind their mysterious life cycle, 'Kings of the Yukon' is extraordinary adventure and nature writing at its most urgent and poetic"--Dust jacket.… (more)

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