Life on the Land
"When I was a child [I] lived with my family about 18 miles up to the Liard River from the Upper Liard Bridge. This is where my dad had his trapline, in the Rancheria River area."
Kaska Elder Angela (Tom) Carlick, daughter of Liard and Eda Tom
The history of human use of this area extends back thousands of years, and continues today. Traditionally, Kaska people lived off the land, moving from camp to camp in small family groups. They followed a seasonal round of hunting, fishing, trapping and berry picking. A detailed knowledge of the land was essential for survival.
Watson Lake was known as Fish Lake or Fishing Lake because of its rich resources. The Kaska also travelled to Pelly Banks to fish the salmon. People continue to harvest the rich resources of the area. It is known for its pristine wilderness, remoteness and abundance of game. Yukon fur is highly prized, especially wolverine, lynx and marten.
Local fish include lake trout, Arctic grayling and northern pike. Large mammals include sheep, goat, moose, caribou, grizzly, wolf and beaver. High-bush and low-bush cranberries and blueberries grow in the area. Members of the Liard First Nation, licensed resident, outfitters and licensed trappers hut and trap in the area.
although the region experiences cold winters with long nights, it also enjoys mild summers with long sunny days. People get out in the winter to ski, snowshoe and go dog-sledding. Summer brings a wealth of wildflowers and wide range of opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking and other pursuits.