AK Salmon Task Force created by Congress holds “kick off” meeting

The group "hopes its report will help benefit Alaska's salmon resources." There is "no formal plan at this time for on-going or follow up efforts."

by | August 4, 2023

Goal: identify data gaps, develop a science plan for sustainable management of AK salmon

Photo credit: Alaska Beacon

The Alaska Salmon Research Task Force that was created by an Act of Congress last December held its first meeting via Zoom on July 27. The 19 member Task Force was established In response to unprecedented declines in chum and Chinook salmon on the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers.

The purposes of the Act are to:

  1. Ensure that Pacific salmon trends in Alaska regarding productivity and abundance are characterized and that research needs are identified
  2. Prioritize scientific research needs for Pacific salmon in Alaska
  3. Address the increased variability or decline in Pacific salmon returns in Alaska by creating a coordinated salmon research strategy
  4. Support collaboration and coordination for Pacific salmon conservation efforts in Alaska

The next meeting of the Task Force is set for mid-November. The group has one year to provide a report on its findings.

Below are the minutes from the first meeting.

Task Force members

Federal Reps — Andrew Munro (North Pacific Fishery Management Council); Ed Farley (NOAA Fisheries); Bill Templin (State of Alaska); Andy Piston (Pacific States Salmon Commission)

Subsistence Reps — Oscar Evon (Native Village of Kwigillingok); Jacob Ivanoff (Native Village of Unalakleet); Karla Jensen (Native Village of Pedro Bay); Caroline Brown (Alaska Department of Fish and Game Subsistence Director); Justin Leon (Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission)

Fishing Industry reps — Michelle Stratton (Alaska Marine Conservation Council/Commercial Salmon Fisherman); Mike Flores (Charter Boat Fisherman); Austin Estabrooks (At-Sea Processors Association); Tom Carpenter (Commercial Fisherman); Steve Reifenstuhl (Aquaculture Industry)

Academic Community — Megan McPhee (University of Fairbanks); Megan Williams (Ocean Conservancy/University of Fairbanks); Tommy Sheridan (University of Fairbanks); Noelle Yochum (Alaska Pacific University/Trident Seafoods); Katie Howard (Alaska Pacific University/Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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