Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Georgetown Subsistence Harvest Documented in ADF&G Report

September 18, 2013

This week, Georgetown Tribal Council received hard copies of ADF&G Technical Paper No. 379, entitled Subsistence Harvests in 6 Communities in the Lower and Central Kuskokwim River Drainage, 2010.  The study and report were completed by ADF&G Division of Subsistence, and the report edited by Caroline L Brown, Hiroko Ikuta, David S. Koster, & James S. Magdanz.  The study was conducted between 2009 and 2011, and the report was published in July 2013.

The report summarizes results of research conducted on subsistence harvest and use of wild foods in the following six communities along the Kuskokwim River: Akiak, Kwethluk, Oscarville, Tuluksak, Georgetown and Napaimute.

The report is several hundred pages long and is available in GTC's office.  The full document can be downloaded here.  Since it is such a big file, it may take several minutes to download.

I have scanned an excerpt from the chapter on Georgetown, and it can be found here.  This is a copy of pages 81-84 of ADF&G Technical Report  No. 379.

It's interesting to read the history of Georgetown, and view it alongside of current subsistence harvest trends.  The information available for the other five communities is also worthwhile talking a look at for comparison.  There are maps of subsistence harvest areas, charts documenting population profiles and history, and many other valuable pieces of information about the Kuskokwim region.

Stop by the office to borrow a copy of the full report; we also have some flyers documenting the 2012 Kuskokwim fisheries season and regional patterns for the harvest of salmon.  I could send these out via regular mail if you are interested - we have about 15 copies.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Georgetown Water Quality Data and our September Trip

September, 2013

Two weeks ago, we made our way out to Georgetown for our water quality sampling trip.  While we are there, we collect field measurements with a YSI 556 meter, and also bring some water samples back for laboratory testing. 

The YSI allows us to collect on site information such as temperature, pH, DO (dissolved oxygen), conductivity & ORP.  With the results from our lab tests, we gain information about metals, organic pollutants (DRO & GRO), and bacteria (E coli).

Check out our website for the results from our field data collections here.

Monitoring Well Site 2
We gather data from four locations: two monitoring wells in Georgetown, the mouth of the George River, and a point in the Kuskokwim up river from the George.  To view the results of our data spatially, you can visit the Kuskokwim River Water Quality webmapper here.

Along with Georgetown data, the webmapper also houses water quality data for the native villages of Napaimute and Sleetmute.  Our goal is to collect baseline data all along the Kuskokwim River so that we can view trends in data, which will make it possible to identify any abrupt changes, and hopefully determine their source.  Changes in water quality can occur from natural processes such as rising temperatures or flooding tributaries, but could also be caused by development in the area or human disturbances.  The Red Devil mercury mine is an example of development that caused changes to occur in water quality in the area of Georgetown.  With the EIS process already underway for the Donlin Gold mine, it is only a matter of time before construction could begin.  It is our hope that the EIS process will help to prevent any major changes in water quality on the Kuskokwim, but it is good to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

If you are interested in submitting your water quality data to be included in the Kuskokwim River WQ Database, contact me at or by phone at 907-274-2195.

GTC will be presenting information on this project at the 6th Annual NW Tribal Water Rights conference to be held in Anchorage, AK on October 9-10th.  Follow this link for more information.