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.
The salmon runs of Bristol Bay are by the numbers jaw dropping. Watching these fish flood the wild rivers in the region is simply mesmerizing. We made a salmon reel from years of filming in Bristol Bay. Enjoy and consider a donation to help stop the proposed Pebble Mine.
Ryan Peterson and Salmon Beyond Borders have cooperated in producing a new short film showcasing the downstream Alaska problems associated with new mines being approved and developed across the border in British Columbia. It's a similar story - big money, big industry, and the relentless quest of man to exploit our natural environment for short-term gains.
From the filmmaker:
An open-pit mining boom is underway in northern British Columbia, Canada. The massive size and location of the mines--at the headwaters of major salmon rivers that flow across the border into Alaska--has Alaskans concerned over pollution risks posed to their multi-billion dollar fishing and tourism industries. These concerns were heightened with the Aug 4, 2014 catastrophic tailings dam failure at nearby Mt. Polley Mine in B.C.'s Fraser River watershed.
When fishing guide/filmmaker Mark Titus learns why wild salmon populations plummeted in his native Pacific Northwest, he embarks on a journey to discover where the fish have gone and what might bring them back. Along the way, Titus unravels a trail of human hubris, historical amnesia and potential tragedy looming in Alaska – all conspiring to end the most sustainable wild food left on the planet.
By Juliet Eilperin, Updated: February 28 at 10:48 am
The Environmental Protection Agency will announce Friday it will examine whether to block a massive gold and copper mine proposed in Alaska, according to people familiar with the issue -- a major win for environmentalists, native tribes and commercial fishing companies that have been seeking to kill the project for more than three years.
While the announcement does not mean the Obama administration has made a final decision to prohibit Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., a Canadian-based firm, from starting construction on the Pebble Mine project, it will delay it for months and make it much harder for the controversial project to move ahead at all.
Long Live the King is a story of hope and resurgence for Alaska's great King Salmon fishery. Returning numbers of the fish have been dropping steadily, and both 2012 and 2013 hit especially hard - with multiple rivers and regions across the state seeing some of the lowest returns ever, forcing Alaska Fish and Game officials to close or severely limit salmon fishing around the state, including on some of Alaska's most iconic rivers. In addition, what is starting to seem like an all out war on salmon – mining, dams, hatcheries and the state government are all marching forward in opposition of Alaska treasure salmon resource. For many, this is an attack on religion, not just a fish.
This film seeks to ignite an angler's passion - showing why salmon are worth fighting for from a fly fishing perspective. By showcasing some of Alaska's world class adventures - a team of Alaska's best guides and anglers explore the state's rivers, fly fishing for King Salmon, while practicing "catch and release" for the benefit of greater escapement and future salmon spawn. Through interviews and candid conversation, we will hear from long-time Alaska guides, lodge owners, Native elders, political figures, conservation leaders, and wilderness pioneers who have an abundance of untapped folk information on the state's great King Salmon lore. In these virtually untold stories, lies the spirit of Alaska - the dream of its wild lands and freedoms that can hardly be imagined in our current time.
King Salmon are an icon for Alaska, and a treasured sport fish for the entire world. Long Live the King celebrates the great homecoming of salmon to the Last Frontier, while promoting a re-energized culture of sustainability among salmon fishermen and women worldwide. Through inspiring imagery, explosive fishing, emotional testimony and a tone of sustainability, respect, and stewardship, the film breathes new life into the hearts of anglers. One goal of this film is to boost the grassroots efforts of our conservation partners to defend the land, waters, cultural heritage, and invaluable resources of Alaska, including the mighty King Salmon of the Last Frontier.