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Photos: At Kuskokwim River fish camp, smokehouses fill with fish and tradition

Isty Hlasny hangs salmon in the smoke house at the fish camp on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Sunny Alexie plays out the drift net as the family fishes for salmon on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Roy Alexie and his daughter Sunny Alexie pull a salmon caught in their driftnet into the boat while fishing on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Roy Alexie tosses a king salmon into the fish tote as he an daughter Sunny Alexie pick salmon from their drift net near the family fish camp on Kuskokuak Slough of the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Salmon pile up in the tote in Roy and Ida Alexie's boat while dirftnetting on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Salmon pile up in the tote in Roy and Ida Alexie's boat while dirftnetting on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Alyssa Wassillie touches a king salmon as her mother Alberta Nicori prepares to cut it at the family fish camp on Kuskokuak Slough of the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Alberta Nicori cuts the head off a king salmon as her daughter Alyssa Wassillie and niece Evolette Nicori watch it at the family fish camp on Kuskokuak Slough of the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Ida Alexie washes off one of her ulus as she cuts fish at the family fish camp on Kuskokuak Slough of the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Ida Alexie cuts up salmon heads at fish camp on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Ida Alexie cuts salmon strips as her daughter Sunny Alexie cuts salmon in the background at the fish camp along Kuskokuak Slough on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Ida Alexie cleans her hands with grass after processing salmon at fish camp on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Isabelle Hlasny makes sure the tongues are opened on salmon she placed the drying racks at the fish camp along Kuskokuak Slough on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Grandson Jason Hlasny hunts for a mouse near the fish cutting shed at Roy and Ida Alexie's fish camp on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Isabelle Hlasny gathers wild rhubarb at the fish camp on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The leaves will be used in akutaq, Eskimo ice cream, and the stalks are eaten raw. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Joy Andrew looks at the sonogram photos her daughter Colleen Andrew's first baby in the smoke house of the family fish camp on Kuskokuak Slough of the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The younger Andrew had just returned from a doctor's appointment in Bethel.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Isty Hlasny, Sunny Alexie, Isabelle Hlasny, Paul Hlasny and Ida Alexie strip leaves from wild rhubarb at the fish camp on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The leaves will be used in akutaq, Eskimo ice cream, and the stalks are eaten raw. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Isabelle Hlasny, Ida Alexie, Roy Alexie, Paul Hlasny, Isty Hlasny, Sunny Alexie and Jason Hlasny pose in front of their fish drying racks at the fish camp along Kuskokuak Slough on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Roy Alexie pulls down salmon from the drying racks to bring into the smoke house at the fish camp along Kuskokuak Slough on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Salmon roe dries in the sun at the fish camp along Kuskokuak Slough on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Roy Alexie loads salmon from the drying racks into a wheelbarrow to bring to the smoke house at the fish camp along Kuskokuak Slough on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Scenes from the subsistence fish camp of Roy and Ida Alexie on the Kuskokwim River upriver from Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The extended family with three camps caught, cut and smoked salmon and whitefish.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Salmon hangs drying in the evening sun at Roy and Ida Alexie's fish camp on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Isabelle Hlasny floats her wooden boat on the the Kuskokwim River as they enter the small boat harbor in Bethel, AK as they return from fish camp on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Ida Alexie explores the beach at the fish camp along Kuskokuak Slough on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A salmon tail pokes over a drying rack as fish hang to dry before being moved into the smoke house at fish camp on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Sunny Alexie and sister Isty Hlasny talk with Isty's daughter Isabelle Hlasny in the fish camp cabin on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Evolette Nicori shots baskets at fish camp on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Sunny Alexie hangs salmon strips on the drying racks at fish camp on the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Colleen Andrew comes into the smoke house to show her mother Joy Andrew sonogram photos of their first baby and grand baby at the family fish camp on Kuskokuak Slough of the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. At right stands grandmother Helen Nicori.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Helen Nicori, from Kwethluk, AK, tends the fire in the smoke house as salmon, whitefish and smelt hang on the racks overhead at the family fish camp on Kuskokuak Slough of the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Whitefish and salmon hang in the smoke house at the Roy and Ida Alexie family fish camp on Kuskokuak Slough of the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. The Alexie family, Ida and her husband Roy Alexie and two of their daughters were busy catching and processing salmon and whitefish caught from set and drift nets on the Kuskokwim River.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Joy Andrew brings salmon into the smoke house to hang at the family fish camp on Kuskokuak Slough of the Kuskokwim River near Bethel, AK on Friday, June 27, 2014. Salmon, whitefish and smelt are starting to fill the smokehouse along the bank of the Kuskowim River in western, Alaska.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Bob Hallinen,Lisa Demer

ALONG KUSKOKUAK SLOUGH -- On a sunny summer day, the quiet peace of a remote fish camp on a slow-moving branch of the Kuskokwim River became a crazy-busy place of heading and gutting, cutting and hanging.

The salmon were running, and Bethel elders Roy and Ida Alexie, along with daughters, grandkids and extended family, were catching them.

“I’ll take the heart!” 6-year-old Alyssa “Frankie” Wassillie called out as her mom -- one of Ida’s many nieces -- guided an ulu through the crunch of salmon bone and flesh.

Life at this Yup’ik camp blends deep traditions with modern twists, bursts of intense work with stretches of easy play and relaxation.

Read more: At Kuskokwim River fish camp, smokehouses fill with fish and tradition