Alaska Fish Film Festival – 1st annual collection of Films

The 2014 Alaska Fish Film Festival features over 20 short films that focus on the connections between people and fish, the unique life cycle and habitat needs of different species, how ordinary people are helping conserve fish and their habitats, and more. The films are from a variety of perspectives—from fishermen to subsistence users, researchers, volunteers, landowners, and the fish themselves.

Here they are, with a brief description and where to see them (*please note, many of these films are being uploaded to a final archive location so please be patient as the links for all the films get finalized over these next few weeks):

NPRB Gulf of Alaska Project / Coastal Nurseries & Alaska’s Groundfish (4:40 min)

Liz McKenzie / Sitka Sound Science Center / (907) 752-7046  – Final Archive: TBD

The North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) is supporting an integrated ecosystem research program in the Gulf of Alaska that is furthering our understanding of five important fish species and their environment. This film covers the study of the nearshore and coastal nursery areas for these fish.

Your Food is Your Environment (3:48 min)
Luke William / Chilkoot Indian Association / (907) 766-2323 – Final Archive:

This is a film about the importance of a healthy watershed to the health and sustainability of the Chilkoot Indian Association’s Tribal members’ subsistence lifestyle. The video is shot entirely in Haines Alaska—the home of the Chilkoot Indian Association.

Local Variation: Climate Change on the Copper River Delta
Mark Blaine / U.S. Forest Service’s PNW Research Stn. & OSU – Final Archive: TBD

The expression of climate change happens in sometimes unexpected and counterintuitive ways as evidenced by the research of Gordon Reeves (USFS’s Pacific Northwest Research Station) and Emily Campbell (Oregon State University). This video was funded by the PNW Research Stn. and produced by students and faculty at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.

Fish Eye View of Spawning Habitat from Pack Rafts (4:55 min)
Katrina Mueller / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / (907) 786-3637 – Final Archive: TBD

Join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a float down Birch Creek near Talkeetna, Alaska to document spawning activity in a Susitna River tributary devoid of human-caused fish passage barriers. Spawning surveys and precise habitat measurements will be used as a management tool to predict the potential of streams with barriers to provide suitable habitat for salmon production.

Salmon Connection (8:32)
Lisa Busch / Sitka Sound Science Center / (907) 747-8878 ext. 5 – Final Archive: TBD

This video project is an extension of our NSF-funded exhibit that shows the connection of salmon to the world around us, including our human communities here in Alaska. Sitka is a salmon town and we’re proud to get that message out to the rest of the world! This film features local “stars” and shows how salmon figure into our natural world and the economic, cultural and educational parts of our community.

Fish of Steep Creek (16:00)
Pete Schneider / U.S. Forest Service / (907) 789-6255 – Final Archive: TBD
Underwater video of salmon with an education theme. Shot mostly on Steep Creek located at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Juneau, Alaska and managed by the US Forest Service. This video focuses on the important role salmon play in the ecosystem and their unique life cycle and habitat needs. The footage provides an opportunity to see fish from a unique underwater perspective.

Salmon and Blow Flies (6:57min)
Bob Armstrong / (907) 586-6611/ – Final Archive:

Last year I went out with a couple of entomologists that were studying blow flies in Alaska. I learned that these insects play an important role in the nutrient transfer of Alaska’s salmon and also have important connections with juvenile birds and flowers. This information inspired me to produce this video.

Alaska Salmon Project – King Maker Chickaloon Village (3:08min)
Erin Harrington / The Salmon Project / (907) 942-1323 – Final Archive: TBD

The King Makers of Chickaloon Native Village have brought the salmon back to Moose Creek. The village participated in a habitat restoration project to return Moose Creek to its relic path after being straightened by the railroad nearly 100 years ago. The straightening of the river resulted in bedrock waterfalls that acted as a barrier for spawning salmon. Since the restoration, salmon have returned to the headwaters of Moose Creek. This is their story.

Baby Salmon Live Here (4:30 min)
Pat Race / The Salmon Project / (907) 586-3440 – Final Archive: TBD

This film features juvenile salmon in urban Alaska.

Salmon in the Middle (5:00min)
Robert Jones & 7th, 8th Grade Science Classes / DZ Middle School – Final Archive: TBD

This short film captures the efforts of the Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School Taku House Science class as they investigate the interconnections of various ecosystems and salmon. Students consider why salmon are important both to themselves, their families, their community and beyond.

From the Ocean to the Smoke House: A Copper River Salmon Story (6:25min)
Emily Stolarcyk / Eyak Preservation Council / (907) 424-5890 – Final Archive: TBD

This film features the Founder and President of the Eyak Preservation Council, Dune Lankard and his sister, Pamela who is famous for her smoked King Salmon. The Eyak’s,a salmon people, have called the Copper River Delta home for thousands of years. Today, through the organization the Eyak Preservation Council, Dune leads a team dedicated to honoring Eyak heritage and preserving wild salmon habitat.

Restoring America’s Salmon Forest (6:00min)
Bethany Goodrich/Sitka Conservation Society
& Southeast Sustainable Partnership / (907) 747-7509 – Final Archive: TBD

Nestled deep within our earth’s largest temperate rainforest conservation takes unique form. Meet a vibrant team of heavy equipment operators working deep in the Tongass National Forest of Southeast Alaska. Learn about the Sitkoh River Restoration Project and the benefits of river and stream restoration.

Genetics for Sustainability: Management of Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon (5:23min)
Nathan Shoutis / Alaska Department of Fish & Game / (307) 438-1639 – Final Archive:

This film documents how the Alaska Deptment of Fish and Game is using genetic data in real time to help manage the Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon fishery.

Fish Passage Restoration (1:44min)
Meredith Pochardt / Takshanuk Watershed Council /(907) 766-3542 – Final Archive: TBD

Culverts are often not placed with fish in mind and prohibit fish from reaching critical spawning and rearing grounds. Takshanuk has worked to identify and replace these culverts. Once the barrier is removed streams are allowed to live up to their full potential.

Stream Watch Legacy: growing strong roots & making a difference for 20 years! (5:15)
Lisa Beranek / Kenai Watershed Forum / (907) 260-5449 – Final Archive: TBD

Stream Watch volunteers are ordinary people making extraordinary efforts to protect Kenai Peninsula fish habitats. The program is jointly administered by KWF and Chugach  National Forest. Volunteers complete a myriad of projects ranging from hands-on, river protection projects to sharing on-river, educational stewardship messages. Volunteers come from the local area but also out-of-state and out-of-country. Everyone is invited to make a difference!

Copper River/Prince William Sound Family Fishermen (4:04min)
Nelly Hand / Copper River/Prince William Sound Regional Seafood Development Association / (907) 424-3459/ – Final Archive: TBD

Meet the family fishermen of the coastal community of Cordova, Alaska and the Copper River, Prince William Sound salmon fishery.

Togiak National Wildlife Refuge: Rivers of Life (11:51 min)
Mark Lisac / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Togiak NWR) – Final Archive: There is not a link to the film, but copies can be requested by writing; also here is the Refuge facebook address:

Each summer the sparkling waters of Togiak National Wildlife Refuge swell with stunning numbers of Pacific salmon. Through such yearly migrations, returning fish nourish untold numbers of plants, animals and people, just as they have for thousands of years. The life cycle of the Pacific salmon, delivered like acts in a play, is the event that sustains life along Togiak’s many waterways, literally transforming them into ‘Rivers of Life’.

Kanalku Falls Restoration Project (10:18)
Pete Schneider/U.S. Forest Service / (907) 789-6255 – Final Archive: TBD

Kanalku Lake, located near Angoon on Admiralty Island supports a natural run of sockeye salmon. This run helps support the annual subsistence harvest by Angoon residents. Historic low returns prompted the USFS, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, and the community of Angoon to consider solutions. A proposal to blast a new pool below the
falls to increase sockeye jump success was introduced by the USFS and funding was secured by ADF&G. Follow up surveys indicate this effort was a success. Here’s the story.

NPRB: Gulf of Alaska Integrated Ecosystem Research Project (8:33min)
Liz McKenzie / Sitka Sound Science Center / (907) 752-7046 – Final Archive: TBD

The North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) is supporting an integrated ecosystem research program in the Gulf of Alaska that is furthering our understanding of five important fish species and their environment. This film explains the focus and importance of the project.

Salmon: The Hidden Migration (8:04min)
Liz McKenzie / The Salmon Project and Encounters Salmon World / (907) 752-7046 – Final Archive: TBD

Most Alaskans and people everywhere know about the annual migrations of adult salmon to the river systems where they mate, spawn, and die. But there is another migration of salmon, equally long and just as essential for the health and vitality of these important fish. Surprisingly, this migration is largely overlooked even by the people who live along salmon streams and who depend on salmon for their livelihoods. This film explores the other half of the salmon’s freshwater odyssey, and the secret, hidden migration that happens every spring.

It Takes a Watershed…to Raise a Salmon (5:15min)
Liz McKenzie / The Salmon Project and Encounters Salmon World / (907) 752-7046 – Final Archive: TBD

In the popular consciousness, salmon are closely associated with particular river systems, ranging from the famous Yukon, Nushagak, and Kenai runs, on down to literally thousands of smaller streams, tributaries, and lakes. Salmon are virtually synonymous with Alaska’s rivers, but there is more—much more—to the story. This film re-defines the meaning of a salmon stream, by showing viewers that the health of our great fish runs depends not just on water, but on the surrounding land and the entire living environment.

Salmon Stewardship on the Tongass: Twelvemile Creek (12:47)
Bethany Goodrich/Sitka Conservation Society
& Southeast Sustainable Partnership / (907) 747-7509 – Final Archive: TBD

The Sitka Conservation Society is not only dedicated to protecting the natural environment of the Tongass National Forest, but also to supporting the health and sustainability of the communities that depend on its resources. We partnered with local communities, the Tongass National Forest, and the National Forest Foundation to monitor fish ecology, engage local youth in hands-on activities, and train aspiring fisheries professionals.

King Maker in Hatcher Pass (3:21)
Erin Harrington / The Salmon Project / (907) 942-1323 – Final Archive: TBD

Scott Walther didn’t always think of himself as a King Maker. When he learned he had critical salmon spawning habitat running through his 200 acre property in Mat-Su he decided to do what he could to steward the land. Now, with 170 acres in a land easement he is helping salmon regenerate, ensuring healthy salmon populations for future generations. This is his story.