Where Water is Gold

life and livelihood in alaska’s bristol bay

Beginning in the summer of 2011, Carl embarked on a journey to create a comprehensive photo-essay book that explores the science, culture and history of the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. The project will examine the way of life in the region as reflected in commercial fishing, subsistence, and recreational activities. In such a wondrous state as Alaska, the Bristol Bay region stands out as a land of natural riches, abundance and culture unparalleled in the United States.

Braided River, the conservation imprint of The Mountaineers Books, released the book in 2016. The book is titled Where Water is Gold: Life and Livelihood in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Carl concluded the principal fieldwork for the book in June 2015, but plans to continue photographing in the area to provide ongoing content for the website dedicated to the project. The website also includes letters of support and information on project partners and sponsors.

Check out Carl’s archive of blog posts created during fieldwork of the project. You can catch regular updates on the dedicated Facebook page for the project. You can also find more detailed news and current events on the News page for the book website and look for upcoming events on our Calendar.


April 26, 2017 – Where Water is Gold is awarded a Silver Medal in the 2016 Nautilus Book Awards in the category “Green Living & Sustainability.”

April 7, 2017 – Where Water is Gold is awarded a Gold Medal in the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the category “West-Pacific – Best Regional Nonfiction.”

March 23, 2017 – Carl is interviewed as part of Alaska Public Media’s “Outdoor Explorer” episode about Bristol Bay.

March 7, 2017 – Carl is interviewed for the Around the Lens Podcast.

November 14, 2016 – High Country News lists Where Water is Gold among their “Recommended reading to take you into the next year.”

October 15, 2016 – Alaska Dispatch News publishes a review of Where Water is Gold.

October 11, 2016 – PDN Magazine publishes a review of Where Water is Gold and an interview with Carl about his inspiration for the book.

July 29, 2016 – Carl publishes a piece about Twin Lakes in the Longitude Books “Favorite Spot” blog.

July 19, 2016 – Carl appears on Anchorage CBS affiliate KTVA for its Daybreak program. Catch the full interview here.

June 28, 2016 – Dillingham public radio affiliate KDLG posts a piece about Where Water is Gold, including an interview with Carl.

June 10, 2016 – Carl embarks on the Grand Princess for his first of five presentations this summer with Princess Cruise Lines to promote the book. Check the Calendar for future speaking engagements.

June 3, 2016 – Carl received word from The Mountaineers Books that the book is in the warehouse in Seattle.

May 2, 2016 – Carl received an advance copy of the completed book. 

February 26, 2016 – Carl went to the offices of Mountaineers Books in Seattle to view and edit the proof for the book.

explore the science, culture and history of bristol bay