Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Opportunities to Be Involved - Conservation of Chinook Salmon on the Kuskokwim River

December 10, 2013

For many of you who grew up or are living on the Kuskokwim River, the topic of the recent decline of the king salmon run is both sensitive and important, and with good reason.  After all, the largest subsistence harvest of Chinook salmon in the state is taken from the Kuskokwim River.

The Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group (WG) is a group "which serves as a public forum for federal and state fisheries managers to meet with local users of the salmon resource and review run assessment information and reach a consensus on how to proceed with management of Kuskokwim River salmon fisheries", according to the ADF&G website.  Anyone can be a member of the WG, in fact the WG encourages participation from all along the river.  The more input, the better.

You might think that the only time to be involved is in the summer.  Think again!  Some WG members have been meeting throughout the fall in small work sessions, and the WG will continue to meet into the winter.   The objective right now is to develop a list of recommendations for management in 2014.  In September, WG chairs sent out a letter to tribes, soliciting input.  It included this message:

A serious concern, needing your input....Ways to be involved include the following opportunities:

December 13: KYUK Chinook Conservation and Management Radio show with guests Mark Leary, Megan Leary and Glen Lindsey: 11 AM; 543-5985 or 543-2756 to call in or  toll free 1-800-996-8954.

December 17: Full Working Group Meeting for Management Strategy Discussion; teleconference available.

December 19: Sophie Evan will host a call in show on subsistence issues with guests Myron Naneng and possibly Zach Brink all in Yup'ik

January 6:KYUK Chinook Conservation and Management Radio Show with guests Travis Elison, Robert Sundwon: 11 AM; 543-5985 or 543-2756 to call in  or  toll free 1-800-996-8954.

January 8-9: Working Group Meeting to include presentations from ADF&G and discussion about what happened in 2013 and how to prevent it from happening again in 2014, as well as management strategies for 2014. Teleconference available.

Mark Leary, from the Native Village of Napaimute, talks about the upcoming radio show on Friday and I think does a good job of summarizing the importance of participation:

"The purpose of this show is to continue the discussion about the need to conserve our King Salmon in 2014 and to give the perspective of what it’s like to fish in the Middle and Upper Kuskokwim after the huge population of the Lower River has caught all they want – leaving very little for the People further up and almost nothing for escapement.

We always talk about protecting subsistence for the younger/future generations, but we never let the younger generations talk about how they feel. And this is where we are now: trying to SAVE the King Salmon so that these young people and their future families can continue fishing for them."

Dec. 13



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