A wide array of issues affect Yukon River fisheries. Therefore YRDFA concentrates its work in a number of program areas to achieve its mission. These include:
- Policy Advocacy
A wide range of agencies and boards impact Yukon River management, from the State of Alaska Board of Fish to the federal North Pacific Management Council and the international Yukon River Salmon Agreement. YRDFA participates in dialogues with all these agencies, representing the interests of Yukon River communities in state, federal, and international forums.
- Conservation and Restoration
YRDFA works to protect wild salmon stocks and the habitats upon which they depend. Through biological research and participation in management, YRDFA works on behalf of Yukon River fishers.
- Cultural Preservation
Traditional ecological knowledge is a vital source of information about salmon populations and a rich part of Yukon River cultures. YRDFA documents Local and Traditional Knowledge (LTK) about the salmon, the river, and the people. YRDFA works to incorporate LTK into Yukon fisheries management and works to protect the subsistence rights that are the foundation of Alaskan Native culture.
- Economic Opportunity
Inhabitants of communities in the Yukon River drainage possess valuable knowledge and skills that can be indispensable to the success of local projects. YRDFA strengthens fishing communities by bringing jobs and training to communities, and increasing participation in fisheries management. YRDFA also works to increase market opportunities and values for Yukon River salmon.
- Information Sharing
YRDFA is the only consistent forum for ongoing dialogue and information-sharing between all parties with interests in the Yukon River fishery. YRDFA plays a key role in keeping fishermen and women informed and relaying their opinions to managers. YRDFA brings together fishers from throughout the watershed to reach consensus on policy positions that are good for the salmon, the people, and the river.