Kamchatka, Russia | Where the Salmon Rule, National Geographic Magazine: Anti-Poaching Patrol | Kamchatka Shelf, Russia

Poaching is the biggest threat to salmon in Russia.  This is an anti-poaching enforcement trip that starts in Sobolevo, the salmon poaching epicenter. These guys ride around on tanks and in boats and try to spot places where they would put out a net to fish and where they see that the sediment on the rocks has been washed away (where a net has been dragged). These are very subtle clues, but when we land on the bank there are a few areas where there is spilled caviar. The guys get excited and start following the many paths into the woods from this point. Eventually they do find the poacher camp. It is far enough in that they had not heard the warden’s boat engines on the river and they are still there. These are wardens going on anti-poaching raids just outside Soboleva in the heart of the most poached area of Kamchatka. Soboleva is on the Sea of Okhotsk, just off the Kamchatka shelf and is only accessible by MI-8 helicopter.

Buy This Image