Summary of conversation with Gale Vick

  1. Yukon River drainage 25% larger than Texas (another example that everything is bigger in Alaska)
  2. Many complex and interacting challenges to management
  3. Eight distinct fisheries on the Yukon River
  4. The managers; State of Alaska, International Treaty, and US Federal agencies
  5. Common ground among groups: the resource comes first and how will future generations deem our actions?
  6. The management landscape is a patchwork mosaic
  7. Four primary governing bodies of the Yukon River on the U.S. side of the border
  8. March 1985 Pacific Salmon Treaty ratified
  9. In 2001 an addendum to PST signed that outlines steps to ensure the future use of Yukon salmon
  10. Gear types on the Yukon: drift gillnet, set driftnet, beach seine, dipnets, fishwheels, rod and reel
  11. Amounts of fish needed for subsistence is vitally important and drives recent management of the Yukon
  12. What is co-management? A legal construct and a term that describes how tribal and federal or state groups work together for resource management
  13. 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
  14. CDQs have important role on the Yukon due to CDQ community on the Delta of the river…contributes to upriver/downriver tension
  15. Acronyms rule the Yukon!

Summary from conversation with Jan Conitz

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/

Thursday with Michael Bradford

Some background on Dr. Bradford from his DFO research profile:

Currently, Dr. Bradford is working on some statistical models for coho smolt production, and finishing up the analysis of juvenile chinook salmon ecology in the Fraser watershed. He is also conducting a small field project in the Yukon on the ecology and habitat use of small non-natal streams by juvenile chinook salmon. Dr. Bradford is a quantitative ecologist with a wide range of skills, experience, and research interests. From 1992 to 1996, he was the manager for a FRAP project on the freshwater ecology of chinook salmon of the upper Fraser River. He also conducted research on the effects of flow reductions on juvenile salmon, and consequently, he has been involved in Nechako River-related matters, as well as on a number of committees and groups working on B.C. Hydro-DFO issues. Dr. Bradford participated in the 1994 Fraser sockeye review, and has worked on the evaluation of lake fertilization. More recently, he has been looking at quantitative links between fish production and habitat, particularly for coho salmon. He is a member of the core group in Science dealing with coho conservation, as well as an international group working on coho risk assessment. Dr. Bradford also sits on the PSARC Salmon Sub-committee. A common theme to his most recent projects is the explicit incorporation of risk and uncertainty in resource management decision making. Most of the research has been or is in the process of being published in peer-reviewed journals.

How Alaskan’s think about and value salmon with the Salmon Project’s Erin Harrington


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.