- Yukon River drainage 25% larger than Texas (another example that everything is bigger in Alaska)
- Many complex and interacting challenges to management
- Eight distinct fisheries on the Yukon River
- The managers; State of Alaska, International Treaty, and US Federal agencies
- Common ground among groups: the resource comes first and how will future generations deem our actions?
- The management landscape is a patchwork mosaic
- Four primary governing bodies of the Yukon River on the U.S. side of the border
- March 1985 Pacific Salmon Treaty ratified
- In 2001 an addendum to PST signed that outlines steps to ensure the future use of Yukon salmon
- Gear types on the Yukon: drift gillnet, set driftnet, beach seine, dipnets, fishwheels, rod and reel
- Amounts of fish needed for subsistence is vitally important and drives recent management of the Yukon
- What is co-management? A legal construct and a term that describes how tribal and federal or state groups work together for resource management
- What is upriver/downriver tension? Where does it come from? It comes from inequity in fishing opportunity based on where an individual finds themselves on the river system
- CDQs have important role on the Yukon due to CDQ community on the Delta of the river…contributes to upriver/downriver tension
- Acronyms rule the Yukon!
Overview of how US and Canada work together to manage Pacific salmon
1) Much of the headwaters in dynamic glacial landscapes. Mosaic of habitats
2) Tend to manage at the individual species level, but co-migrating species create management conundrums
3) Upper and Lower stocks of Chinook travel at different speeds (Upper at 50-60 km/day, and Lower at 30-40 km/day)
4) Genetic and habitat diversity important for long term persistence of salmon in the Yukon
5) Traditional harvesting for personal and community consumption and barter (salmon are the economy of the Yukon)
6) Understanding idiosyncrasies among user groups is important in treaty development
7) Full scale export commercial fisheries began in 1918
8) Full time biologist in the Yukon not present until 1953
9) Sustainable Salmon Policy-abundance based management; escapement goals are #1, resources for setting goals, in-season monitoring to achieve goals
10) Major challenges are a) mixed species mix, b) run timing and spatial distribution, c) effort, efficiency, and type of gear.
11) Supreme challenges, maintaining stock diversity, escapement goals, and subsistence needs
12) 14 chum per Chinook passing Pilot Station creates major challenges
13) Using information provided by catches of local users has value but also challenges because of lack of standardization
14) How to strike balance between protecting the fish and protecting the people?
15) Pacific Salmon Treaty overseen by the Pacific Salmon Commission
16) Yukon River Salmon Agreement 17 years after the Pacific Salmon Treaty (rebuilding, maintaining viable fisheries, priority for subsistence)
17) Yukon River Panel makes recommendations to designated management agencies on each side; Joint Technical Committee provides scientific and technical advice
18) US Panel member roles, Alaska Native lower river fisherman, Mid or upper river resident, commercial processor, state or Federal fisheries manager
19) Large scale proposed hydro sites have huge potential consequences for salmon production in the Yukon. https://nextgenerationhydro.ca/ngh-sites/
Some background on Dr. Bradford from his DFO research profile:
Erin Harrington was raised in Juneau and Kodiak, the daughter of a commercial fisherman and an early childhood education advocate, and has fished the waters of the Gulf of Alaska, Bristol Bay and the Aleutian Islands. She received her undergraduate degree at Middlebury College in Vermont and holds a Masters degree in Seafood Marketing & Economics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has worked at the intersection of fisheries, community development and public policy for 15 years. Erin is passionate about community and the impact of individual actions, and believes that we do our best work at the outer edges of our comfort zones.