Every July in Alaska, the conversation turns to salmon.

Right now, salmon-hungry Alaskans are processing their catches, strapping dipnets to their cars, heading out to or returning from their commercial fishing sites or packing away fish from guided trips.

Catching your own isn’t the only way to get an Alaska salmon, though there’s something more personal about it. Salmon, according to Erin Harrington, executive director of The Salmon Project, are an intrinsic part of Alaska life.

Harrington’s group has been exploring what it calls “salmon love” across the state since 2012. Through interviews and research, the group found that many Alaskans consider salmon to be a key part of the Alaska experience, no matter their involvement in the fishing process.

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