The noble Pacific salmon—born in freshwater, coming of age in the ocean, back to streams and rivers to spawn and die—is so integral to the Alaskan psyche as to be family. In the broad expanses of our forty-ninth state, the return of salmon every year nurtures many different communities, both Native and non-Native, all of whom view the fish as a gift. The salmon way, as described by Amy Gulick in her beautiful The Salmon Way: An Alaska State of Mind, is to return a gift with a gift. “This generosity of spirit forges relationships and relationships create communities,” she says.
A Midwesterner by birth, Gulick headed north with her camera to spend time with commercial fishermen on their boats, Native families as they worked to smoke and otherwise preserve fish, fishing guides and brown bears on Alaskan rivers, and hundreds of others touched by Chinook, Pink, Sockeye, Chum, and Coho salmon. The Salmon Way is memoirable in the personal warmth she brings to the story of Alaska’s salmon, people, and landscape.
Previously the author of Salmon in the Trees, Gulick writes knowledgeably of Alaskan ecology, the sustainability of the Alaska salmon fishery and efforts to assure its stability indefinitely, and Alaska Native culture. Her photography skills have been recognized by the North American Nature Photography Association.
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