Official website of author Bruce Hampton

Rivers of Life: Southwest Alaska, the Last Great Salmon Fishery

rivers1Framed between some of Alaska’s most spectacular mountain ranges and the northern Pacific, lies the spawning ground of the world’s largest population of wild sockeye salmon. It is also one of the last productive wild fisheries remaining on earth, providing bountiful harvests for a host of dependent creatures – from whales to grizzlies to fishermen.

Renowned landscape photographer Robert Glenn Ketchum turns his encompassing and color-rich vision to the vast habitat and fisheries resources of southwest Alaska and Bristol Bay. With his artist’s eye for color, texture, and extraordinary detail, Ketchum’s large and powerful images capture the immense richness of this magnificently wild country. Greg Syverson’s intimate photographs of fish and their aquatic habitat further illuminate the text.

I was fortunate to have been asked to provide the accompanying essays for this beautiful book. Southwestern Alaska is a place not many Americans know about, but it’s a huge, gorgeously wild land that still appears much as it was hundreds of years ago and centers almost exclusively around its abundance of native salmon. In those essays, I explore the life history of sockeye salmon, the region’s commercial and sport fisheries, and their crucial importance to the region’s environment and the people who depend on salmon for survival.

“Conservationist and wildlife biologist Bruce Hampton’s moving essay describes the surreal beauty of Alaska while explaining the politics and peril of the salmon industry. With stirring words and stunning images that delight the eye, this book will educate and inspire.”E Magazine

Trout Unlimited said, “Bruce Hampton does several difficult things well in the accompanying text. He captures in words the breadth of these landscapes and the particularity of salmon. He know what the Yup’ik thought about salmon, what scientists know about them, what fisheries managers think they know, the realistic and unrealistic things men want from salmon. He makes the simple truth clear to all interested parties: demand too much from salmon and there will be no more salmon.”

The first chapter of Rivers of Life was excerpted as the featured article in Trout Unlimited’s magazine Trout (winter 2002).You can read the chapter here.

Unfortunately, Aperture no longer offers this book in print or as an e-book; however, you can still purchase used copies on Amazon.

* Hardcover: 128 pages
* Publisher: Aperture; 1 edition (September 1, 2001)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0893819670
* ISBN-13: 978-0893819675