The Nushagak River is the 5th Largest in AK in terms of volume of water discharged.
There are 5 different types of Salmon that spawn up the Nushagak River and it's tributaries. They are Chinook(King), Coho(Silver), Sockeye(Red), Chum(Dog), and Pink.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game uses sonar to get fish counts as Salmon head back upriver each year. The Sonar only covers the river about 50 feet from the shore on each side, and was designed specifically to count Sockeye Salmon which all stay within that range of the shore as they migrate. The river at the location of the sonar station is about 1,000 feet wide. So only a small portion of Kings and Silvers are counted because they swim in all parts of the river not just near the shore. I am saying this to give you an idea of the vast number of Salmon that spawn upriver each year. Here are the numbers from this years Salmon runs as counted by sonar. What's amazing to me is that these counts are only for the Nushagak River and all these millions of Salmon pass through in just around 3 months time.
Chinook (King) - 113,800 (probably closer to 500,000)
Sockeye (Red) - 895,500
Coho (Silver) - 200,500 (probably over 500,000)
Chum (Dog) - 623,000
Pink - 1.8 million - These are the most abundant and at times there are runs of more than 100,000 passing by the sonar detectors in one day.
In truth, although these numbers are interesting to look at, they are pretty irrelevant to life here. There is no need for technology to know when Salmon are running, Yup'ik people have been doing it for eons. They look for signs from Nature which tell them when these things are happening. Elders I have spoken with have told me some of these types of things. Unfortunately, young people nowadays are not taught these things, but I will rant about disappearing traditional ways another time.
Many people, or their relatives, have a skiff that they use to go upriver, or down, where they set nets, hunt, forage, get wood, etc. The river is a main link to other places outside the village and much of subsistence living in general.
Anyways, just a little cultural insight.... back to fishing