Yukon River In-Season Salmon Management Teleconference Summary #7

PO Box 2898 Palmer, AK 99645
Tel: 907-272-3141 Toll free: 877-999-8566
Fax: 907-272-3142 E-mail:

Greetings from the Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association!
Here is a summary of the 7th 2021 Yukon River Salmon In-Season Management Teleconference held Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Call lasted 172 minutes. 110 callers participated.

Background: Yukon River salmon management teleconferences are held annually every Tuesday in June, July, and August for managers and fishers throughout the Yukon River drainage to discuss fishing conditions and management strategies in real time as the salmon run is occurring. Funded by the Office of Subsistence Management and the Yukon River Panel.

Media present: KYUK, Bethel, KEAA Eagle is broadcasting KZPA, Ft Yukon

Political Representatives participating: Samuel from Senator Sullivan’s office

Communities participating:
Nunam Iqua
St. Marys
Russian Mission
Holy Cross
Tanana/ Rapids
Stevens Village
Fort Yukon
Manley Hot Springs
Mt. Village
Old Crow

Yukon River Organizations Reports:
Brooke Wright – Yukon River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Chairwoman: Executive council met yesterday and reviewed run assessment and local reports. Families are going out with 4” mesh and can catch freshwater species. A few families have incidentally caught king salmon. I’ve been working diligently so that our tribes have some sort of food security. I have been working with the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council. I am training tribal members to participate and engage with the council in the October meeting due to our low return of fish.
This will be a time for us to ask them to reduce their harvest/bycatch(?)
Seashare is working on providing donated King and chum by Bristol Bay fisherman. It isn’t meant to replace our ways of life. We are working towards food security outreach trips. It is a good time to collectively find solutions. I’ve also been able to work with the rural affairs staff member of the Governor’s office. He is likely on this call. Please call me. There has been conversations on social media, but I am not on there. I am happy to invite you into our office for conversation. You can email or call me. We need to be standing together and supporting each other at this time. Those in the TCC region, please call Doyon. Continue to call your state and federal managers, your elected officials and the governor. This is a time for a collective effort to support each of you.

Brooke’s number 907-452-8251 X 3109,

Elizabeth MacDonald – Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee Executive Director: YSSC is an advisory body, created by … same power as territorial govt., umbrella final agreement made org. Make recommendations to governments on salmon, salmon habitat, etc within Yukon Territory, also we are the majority of the Canadian Section on the Yukon River Panel. Made up of 10 members, Yukoners, First Nation Governments. This group of people who fish and know about salmon help direct management activities. We reach out to communities and talk to people, providing education and hearing back from them about what they want to see. We cannot disclose those recommendations yet. We recently did a press release asking fishers to NOT harvest this year with exception of a few special conditions. We also work on the Educational Exchange and planning for Salmon Summit. Have had some Covid limits. Children are being kept home because they are not vaccinated yet.

Management Reports Agenda:
Deena Jallen – ADF&G Yukon River Summer Season Manager – The summer season Chinook run is 90% complete for the lower Yukon. Looks like the smallest since 1995. Summer Chum is past the ¾ point. This run is well below the 500,000 needed for escapement. We are estimating that we have maybe ¼ needed for escapement.

Fred West- ADF&G Yukon River Area Research Biologist- Summer Season Research Biologist. 89% complete for chum, nearing end of chum run, and latest on record. Latest is 3rd of July and we are looking at 4th or even later. Well below the goal of 500,000. Run sizes are so low we may not meet escapement goals in most of the tributaries. Assessment projects: Data is current through July 12. Our crew yesterday. LYTF catches do not indicate any new large runs of Chinook entering the river. Doesn’t appear to be any big groups on their way up. Pull Big Eddy 8.5 set net. It is no longer fishing. wE will continue to fish the chum drift through the 15th. Then the chum drifts will switch to 5.5” mesh. Pi 117,269+ _ 10,000 fish. Below cumulative average of 140,00 in late years. Summer chum 127,2000 fish well below cumulative median. July 19th the chum will be considered to be fall chum but most likely they will be a mixture of both. Andreafsky 71 fish, well below average. Usually 2600 for chinook. Summer chum 475 and normally we’d be at 400,000 Anvik just over 6,000 fish and normally we’d be at 294,000. So well below. Henshaw creek 31 for c
Chinook and below average at 300. 310 summer chum and normally we are at 300,0000?? Chena 528 below average of 1,000. 1200 for chinook. For summer chum 63 which is similar to what we expect which is 64. Salcha 834 chinook – below average of 1300 for this date. Summer chum- we’ve seen a handful. Not unexpected. Eagle Sonar – we are at a count of 3251 Chinook which is below 4588 average for this date. Interim management goal is 42,500-55,000 at the border.
Update on Stock statues or ID at Pilot. Second stratum results back from June 23-July 6 56% Canadian -+. Together these results indicate that much of the run has had a strong Canadian component. No ASL data from Pilot. Lower River test fish project 97 samples. Part of what we are seeing 81% age 4, ……
(in the update sent out this morning) way higher % of age 4. Fish observed, age 4, are smaller at age than normal. Record small sizes. So many 4 year olds. # of females is lower than average.

Deena Jallen – ADF&G Yukon River Summer Season Manager – The runs are small enough that we are concerned about escapement. It is good to see a lot of Canadian bound fish, but it means that there are even less Alaska fish in the river right now. Fishing remains closed. Fishermen can continue to use 4” net limited to 60’ or shorter and should not be placed where Salmon will be caught.

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Holly Carroll – US Fish & Wildlife Service Yukon River Area Manager— I don’t have anything to add. One thing I would say is that there are a lot of numbers out there, but the update is available on Facebook and OSM website. YRDFA also shares them. I want to say, the main message that we can’t share enough, is that there aren’t ANY fish that don’t need protecting right now. Normally we can rely on chum, but this year we can’t. We completely understand what a hardship this is. We have a lot of work to do to provide food to people. What we know about the King salmon run, our forecast shows that next year’s king run will be lower than next year. We have work to do to prepare people for solutions for next year as well. It isn’t an easy task to close fishing. Thank you for your understanding and involvement.

Bonnie Borba – ADF&G Yukon River Area Research Biologist: Fall season info. Summer chum run sizes are record low, less than 150,000 fish- average 2.1 million. Critically low run size. Below 300,000 fish. Average 1 million. Models range from …. We will be using in season project assessment to determine if the run improves. Mid point Aug 10 at pilot. Characteristics – 2 age classes failing. No genetic analysis because sample size is too low. Weakness of chum salmon is not just in Yukon. All western salmon are weak – Kusko and Norton Sound. Many environmental factors contribute.

Christy Gleason – ADF&G Yukon River Area Fall Manager – This is an important call to have before the season starts on Friday. This year the summer chum is the lowest on record. Fall season projection is critically low (lowest than we’ve ever seen). We understand that this has been a difficult salmon season, we appreciate your participation. To start the fall season we need to have a conservation mindset for future generations. 300,000-600,000 fish drainage wide goal. Projection is well below 300,000 which is needed to allow subsistence fishing. By regulation, the coast will switch to fall management. Districts 1-3, keep an eye out for an announcement this week. At this point fishermen should plan for continued salmon fishing closures. We will update weekly, and continue to watch for updates. We can be reached in the Fairbanks office. 459-7274

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Holly Carroll – US Fish & Wildlife Service Yukon River Area Manager: I don’t have anything to add. Thanks everyone.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Vesta Maker – Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada Biologist: Chinook are continuing to migrate into Canada. The count is below average. It is still early, so moving more into the season over the next week or so. Several tributaries have sonar projects. They have started counting as well. As salmon move up river, other projects will kick off. High waters, but rate of increase is hoped to slow. Tributaries seem to be declining, although they are still high.

Jesse Trerice – Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Canada’s approach will remain conservative. The lower end of the escapement goal hasn’t been met for the last 2 years, and it doesn’t look like it will happen again this year. The information that we have now is that we will not have a harvest share in Canada. We do recognize the exceptional hardship, I can say we are monitoring the situation closely. We will be staying the course for now.

Community Level Reports/Questions/Discussion:
Coastal District 1-Lower Yukon
Chevak: Sky Michael – Fishing in the area has been down to zero. Though I have heard of community members fishing for Pink Salmon. Everyone is following the 4” and 60’. It is frustrating, though I may have heard of possible openers down the road. Can that be clarified please?
Christy – At this point we are planning to announce this week that as you transfer over to fall management, salmon closures will continue. We will try to provide an opener if possible, but at this point all indications show that the fall chum run will be worse than the summer chum run.

Nunam Iqua: Joe Afcan – I have a couple of questions. First, comparison of fish catches in tributaries. SE, South Central, Bristol Bay seem to have excellent returns on salmon. Only one with poor returns is lower yukon. Another observation, required escapement size is getting larger while the number of salmon are getting fewer. I have 3 other issues after these two.

Deena- Chum runs are low. The reason Kuskokwim and Bristol Bay are fishing is that they have Sockeye. They have very healthy runs, and we don’t have sockeye on the Yukon.

Joe – There must be some kind of issue with the counting system on the Yukon, when every other fishery in the State of Alaska has better numbers than we do.

Deena – We and others are having low chum runs. But others have other species that we don’t have.

Joe – Biggest concern is the ecosystem. Relatively low.. I’ve seen on video trawlers catching halibut. Tells me trawlers are scraping the bottom, I would like these issues addressed in the future by any organization that has the ability. Those trawlers catch salmon that go to the Yukon. The other problem is the foreign trawlers that come into the Bering Sea. All our salmon are in danger of being caught out in the Bering Sea before they come back to the Yukon River to sustain the subsistence lifestyle. I would like all our organizations to address these issues. Fish comparizion and the ecosystem. Probably aware that most of the Bering sea is shallow water. Trawlers are decimating the ecosystem in the Bering Sea. And foreign trawlers are catching our salmon and depleting our salmon. Non alaskan fishermen are selling fish to the foriign fleets.

Holly – I think what you are asking is, is this fishing causing damage to our fishery and if so, what is being done about it? There are entire management resources dedicated to this information. But the staff on this call are only for river and escapement managers. There are a lot of people working on the information that you are talking about. Brooke gave some really good information on the council. And what could be done.

Serena – We are working on getting a presentation on this information on this call.

Kotlik: Marvin Okitkun – What will be, will you guys help in providing relief for tribes, communities, individuals from the mouth of Yukon to headwaters of Canada because we are not able to harvest our winter supply of salmon. So we may be able to substitute other resources.

Virgil – What we are doing here, on our side, Canada has been dealing with this for a while. Processors in Bristol Bay are donating king salmon and some chum salmon. Jim Harmon from SeaShare has been working to get that fish shipped to Emmonak, distributed by people at Kwikpak and half to Fairbanks for TCC and my company will distribute that. Norvan Vactor (?) has contacted processors in Bristol Bay, that’s how we got those fish. For Upper Yukon, we are trying to buy fish from processors in Bristol Bay for the villagers. All done through TCC. I know the run in Norton Sound, Biologist reported, Unalakleet only 10% of normal amount of (chum?) salmon have gone up the river. Super unusual situation. North Pacific Anadromous fisheries commission – agreed we don’t need to be putting all these hatchery fish in the ocean because we will overgraze the ocean. The ones that are coming back are small. Defund the hatcheries. Do not give them any more money.
Victor – Area M?
Virgil – Area M is also a problem. They have already caught 310(?) king salmon since June. We need to make sure there is a trooper presence. Those fishermen have a history of NOT reporting what gets caught.

Marvin – I have a question for ADF&G – during your summer test fishery, with all of the Kings that you’ve caught, I have not seen any of that brought to Kotlik, and why is that? Why are only locals in Emmonak getting that?

Deena – There are a few things that are different. No set nets in the middle mouth. We didn’t catch a lot of kings in the drift nets. Most of what we got was near Emmonak. We did make efforts to get them out to other communities. If you’ve got questions about the distribution you can give the Emmonak office a call and they can tell you where they went and when. But keep in mind that there were very few fish caught this season.

Alakanuk: John Lamont – I thought you guys might be aware – I saw a smokehouse full of strips at the Yukon River Bridge. I caught 38 pink, 2 whjite and 2 pike. I watched that net for 15 hours. The pinks are in my smoke house. It is unfair that we can look at smokehouses up the river and seeing king strips brought in as of yesterday. And we are SOL.

District 2-Coastal/Lower Yukon
Mt. Village: Nita – No one is fishing here. One person who used a rod and reel. They only caught pikes and sheefish in two days.

St. Marys: Eric – Only a handful of us who have used 4” to go out. Glad to hear someone from Senator Sullivan’s. People are hurting hard, not having their food source but also economic opportunities which subsidizes our economy. Real economic hardship for people here. We need some sort of help. People are losing faith in management. We’ve been counting fish for 100 years and we still don’t know what is going on. Something has changed in the Bering Sea. Only resources we have coming up for this fall are berries and moose. Seeing more outside hunters. Concerned. Need more enforcement and protection from ADFG. Seems to be a lack of it for a few years. Concern for my household because now we are healing that there won’t be any fall fishing.

Sven- I would like to add that PCE was not renewed. Everyone will be facing higher energy prices. Crowley just increased their prices. We are facing 3 knockout blows here in Rural Alaska. We are hurting. It isn’t just fishing.

Marshall: Norma emailed report – Hello from Marshall, the start of the week has been cold, around the high 40s and low 50s. The sun is out now, on its 3rd day. The water levels went down 4 feet, but waters were still high and steady. Still no debris in the river and still hardly any mosquitoes. Other than that No ones been fishing here during the closure, I know some families are rod and reeling for sheefish and checking berries at the same time in the surrounding sloughs in our area. One person reported catching a Pink salmon in his set net in Wilson slough. All families are at 0 percent of their subsistence needs in salmon here, I know of a couple houses that have 8-10 sheefish drying and that is it. The whitefish are noticeably slow. I have not caught on in my j hook fishing yet. With the state not pushing for its Power Cost Equalization Fund, Electric bills will double, I know my elderly mothers bill is 160 a month, so if it does not get funded some families are looking at electric bills going in the 300 dollar a month range, also here in my Village a plastic bag of groceries ranges from 60-70 dollars. We have no salmon stored in our freezers for winter. Usually when we drift for salmon we get the sheefish and whitefish also, I know the different species of whitefish will run soon with the coho. Also my uncle goes to Togiak every year to work at the fish plant. He said they are catching kings and chums along with reds. He goes every year. Are they catching our salmon? My cousin fishes in Dillingham and he recently beat his dad’s fishing record from 1979. He also said fishing was hot and heavy. I just wanted to ask why isn’t everyone shut down? Like in 2017 I think it was.

District 3-Coastal/Lower Yukon
Russian Mission: Basil – Good afternoon. First happy heavenly birthday to my buddy Andrew Firmin. He is missed. Finally have some nice weather. Couple of 4” nets set. Pulled them out because we saw a few sockeyes caught. Wanted to do everything we could to help the cause. Everything caught that wasn’t eaten was thrown into the freezer. With this weather, there are no humpies here yet, which is unusual. No sign of salmon in the spawning grounds. We usually rod and reel, usually can get a chum right away to get bait for whitefish but not this year. Also no sign of bear life in those creeks. This is my 6th teleconference of the year so I did my final interviews and no one got their subsistence needs met. No salmon. A few deaths in town in the past couple of weeks. They asked for permission to harvest king for ceremonial. We are not seeing any baby – 2 or 3 year old kings like we did a few years ago and all the nets are set in the same place. Maybe it has something to do with the low numbers we have this year. The Tribe is concerned about the villagers here . They have been passing out 4” nets. If they go to fish camps, one camp will take care of 4 household.s 4 years ago, the eels disappeared from our area. Once those eels quit coming around, we saw another drop of the salmon. I’m sure they are hurting for food just like we are. Everyone is switching over to berries. We are already starting to realize that we are going to have to fill our freezers with more moose than year’s past. Wondering how to go about predator control for moose so they aren’t wiped out like the salmon. The bears are very territorial. Last year, one of my cousins walked into a meadow and they saw a bear and had to shoot it. Went looking for it and found a blood trail that was from a moose that had been half buried. There have been a few more. Two Elders, asking if the tribe can fish to feed for the ceremony for those two guys. That wasn’t asked before because we know the numbers are really low. I was doing my final interview questions, and there was more than one Elder who cried. It was hard asking these questions and listening to their answers. The stuff they have gone through doesn’t even compare to this. They fear for this winter with no salmon. Wondering about declaring a disaster for this year and last year. And wondering about getting fish.

Deena – Thank you for that really good report. It is good to hear that fishermen are seeing the same thing we are. Maybe we will chat after the call to get more of your observations.

Basil – People are asking for studies on the Eels. And about food for salmon.

Deena – There are studies going on. eels in Emmonak. Also at UAF they are working on a tagging study. In the fall, the lamprey commercial fishery relies on fishermen sharing their result. Hard to tell if no eels are caught because no eels or because no ice to go out on to fish for eels. Hard to know their abundance in the ocean.

Basil – Another thing we want to hear is what is going to be done about predator control, because we are going to need more Moose. If bears need more moose and we do too, we are going to deplete that species too.

Deena– That is something that I don’t know about but maybe you and your family need to think about.

Serena– Gov. Dunleavey did send a letter out in March. That process can take years. For 2021, we are going to start the process. Have your tribes check their emails.

Holy Cross: David Walker – I get emotional when I hear these stories. We are in the same boat in Holy Cross. The smokehouses are empty. Some people got out and saw some really big kings spinning. Question about fish and how related to moose, I know it’s quite a bit different. What saved our moose is a biologist who changed our formula. We can’t kill any cows or calves and that really saved our moose. The Government keeps saying bycatch is low but how many females are they taking? It should be the same as moose.what about the females. If we are going to be heavily regulated, I think everyone needs to be heavily regulated, even the trawlers, even more. All these parts of the pie, you know, global warming we can’t do anything about, but some things we can. This year I hung a 4” net, first time in my life. I’m going to use it. People are going out to look for salmon berries or whatever they can gather for winter now. I just want to share that we are in the same boat in Holy Cross.

District 4a-Upper Yukon
Anvik: Alberta (texted report) No one fishing here.
Nulato: Arnold – Nothing to report. Some people are fishing for sheefish. People are starting to pick some berries.

Koyukuk: Benedict Jones-Due to the climate change in the last 5 years, (he) said that climate change was going to come and affect our fish. It is happening now.

Koyukuk River
Huslia: Lisa – No one is fishing right now. Some people were using a rod and reel for sheefish but the last group who went out didn’t catch anything. We usually start fishing for whitefish around this time with rod and reel, but we normally use salmon eggs for bait. If anyone knows a good substitute it would be great to know.

Districts 4b & c-Upper Yukon

Galena: Fred – Not much to report. Water is dropping fast. Few fisherman rod and reeling it for sheefish. No one has a 4” net here.

Ruby: Rachael – (emailed report) -no one fishing except her in Melozi.

Districts 5a, b, c & d
Tanana/ Rapids: – Stan Zuray – Water continues downward. Only 5 households at Rapids now with 2 or three more planning on leaving. All but one supports the closures as the only course forward but everyone is shaken by the impact of the King salmon collapse. Many are starting to think this may not get any better and could get worse. Very depressing – not a single boat went by my camp yesterday. Normally you would see 30-40 boats go by a day. None now. Whitefish continue to be scarce and just enough to feed dogs but that is normal for many years until they start to run in fall. What is not normal is no summer chum salmon which is normally fed to dogs now. Not one has been caught. Looks like this will be the second year the local spawning creeks do not see a single spawner in them. Very peaceful otherwise. What is not normal is no summer chum which is normally fed to dogs. Not one has been caught incidentally in the 4” nets. People have not seen a single spawner in these local creeks and it’s pretty easy to see them because they don’t go very far.

Rampart: Charlie – water is dropping. No drift. Perfect conditions for fishing. A couple of 4” nets in the water. One is mine. People are getting worried. It is sinking in that we aren’t going to get any fish. There are no smoke houses full of fish here in Rampart or near the bridge. The game wardens are working hard. People are just hoping and wishing. Praying is all we can do. A lot of people are looking forward to putting away moose this year. The moose numbers are worse than the fish.

Stevens Village: Ben- I really can’t speak for my fish camp above Steven’s village because I am calling in from Fairbanks from my office. Because of the regulations we haven’t gone through the effort to go out to camp. Huge burden on my heart. This is a great opportunity to question the structure as it is right now. This is a time where I think we need to offer to help. Western science offers half of the solution. But without the knowledge of the river you don’t have a complete spectrum. I don’t want to take the time if there is someone in Stevens to give a report.

Holly – Thank you Ben for that comment. I think we don’t hear enough from elders and users to hear what we could do differently. I couldn’t help but notice that when the elder said that climate change was coming and we couldn’t do anything about it. There wasn’t much comment about that. But what would people say now that they would have done differently? When moose or salmon runs decline, what was done 100 years ago? Let’s have those conversations.

Ben- Thank you. I think that to the best of our ability, we would not have practiced (Maximum Sustained Yield) conservation like we are now. Down river they said that the resource was plentiful. And now it is not. The koyukuk said, “we need help with the hunting pressure” and now they have no resources. At this time when our folks are seeing empty freezers. It’s going to be a hard day when you come across a $70k rig on his 2 week vacation when we have people with their rifles trying to put food in their freezer.

Beaver: Rochelle Adams – my family is not at fish camp. My children are not out there learning. Just like everyone in the region, we are looking to harvest moose this year. A real blow to our culture. This time of need for our people, we need to stand together and look at other ways of management. I understand how hard it is to not have the fish because all of us are in the same boat. My heart goes out to everyone.

Stevens Village: Jody Joseph – originally from Eagle. Jody hawk. Moving to Steven’s village and spending time between our fish camp and Steven’s. Grew up always hearing that the world’s going to change and we need to know how to live off the land. Also the mismanagement of our natural resources and our wildlife is making it extremely difficult for us to provide for ourselves. The lack of salmon for ourselves and family. The ceremony , catching the salmon and preparing it ourselves. And the impact to our culture and passing this tradition down to our younger generations. Also, I’m a dog musher now and how this is going to impact all of us being from Eagle, there area a lot of people who depend on dogs as transportation and they need to the fish. I’ve never seen this pressure on our fish and wildlife. Last year, sadly , I didn’t get a moose. Yukon River bridge during hunting season is packed with huge trucks. We went out of caribou on the 40mile herd. The caribou are also being impacted. The mass hunters and the blood bath on the steese. I challenge the board of fish and game to address this. The answers are held by native people. We have never had the pressure or the competition as we do now from outside hunters. It’s heartbreaking. We need to change our Alaska seafood marketing approach because it is affecting Native peoples. ADFG could help control the marketing pressure on our fish.

Carrie Stevens – I am in-law and married into Stevens Village. I am grateful to everyone listening on the call. I wanted to share that it is hard to listen to the repeated requests of the people on the river and are siloed into this inriver in season management. Who is willing to take the helm to take a true ecosystem approach of management from the ocean to the head waters. What will it take? We know that the NPFMC is even more inaccessible. We know that the fish commission testified at the BOF and it cost over $100,000. I look forward to YRDFA working with all of these groups. I fear for the future of my children. My son has sat on the river bank and said, “I wish I was alive when my grandfather was, so I could fish”. If we sit in our comfortable silos nothing will get done. What will people be willing to do about hunting this year? It is degrading for you not to put your life and career on the line and say (_) is the issue. And stop pointing fingers. I wish I was on the banks of the yukon instead of this phone. It’s not looking better for our future. If we are going to continue, we should just hang up. It’s exhausting. Yes, There were posts on facebook with strips saying it was bycatch of 4” net. That is insulting to Native people. It is straight racism. No one is changing the narrative. Your job is for the salmon and the people. I am hoping for a working group that covers the ecosystem from the ocean to the headwaters. Thank you to our senators and government officials that have raised up and realized that it is too late.
Serena – Thank you Carrie for those words. We are working on this.

Fort Yukon: Kara’lisa (texted)- we have been having hot days and no fishing as of the missing boater but will change as the days ahead.

Beaver – (unknown)-Youth from Beaver and Fort Yukon – to some people it is a game of numbers and dollar signs. We are fighting for our fish. I want to say that the Yukon River gives us life and takes care of us. It hurts not to be on the water right now. It hurts not to be able to fish. I should be dropping off fish to my grandparents right now. I lost my grandparents in that river and it hurts not to be out there and feel them with me.

Eagle: Ruby Becker – Water in Eagle has been consistently dropping all week. Nice weather in the mid eighties during the day and then cooling off nice at night. Noone is fishing and there are only 3 boats in the river. Very quiet on the river. The bank swallows have returned in large numbers this year after a couple years of scarcely any, so that is encouraging. I also wanted to thank the Eagle sonar crew for all their hard work and long hours.

Districts 6a, b & c
Manley Hot Springs: Dorothy Shockley it’s really disheartening to hear management say, we welcome comments. We have been making comments, people along the river, and recommendations for over 30 years or more. And what has management done, nothing that the tribes have recommended. A few weeks ago, I said we need to take our attention away from YR management, according to the Yukon River Panel, and focus on the ocean. I would be willing to help in whatever way I can help. I can’t remember how many people are on the NPFMC (north pacific fishery management council) and the Yukon River panel has 4 Alaskans. We need to get on the Governor to make sure they are good people on it. Senator Kookesh, was a huge advocate for subsistence. We need to build up a war chest. To feed ourselves. I am willing to help. Also First Alaskans are working too and I will reach out to them.

Nenana: Victor – A few notes I have: It was good listening to Brooke. All of the comments were great today. Someone mentioned that Dan Sullivan had a representative on here. I believe he is on the Commerce Committee and has some pull on there. Maybe we need to get the word out there. That was me earlier Serena on the 2:45 lady. I don’t even know who she was…. I just wanted to bring up the false pass fishery again, Area M. The comment from: white fish net for white fish spots. We might not have as many eddies on the Yukon. I had some comments for Holly too, but I can’t read my writing. I appreciate you. Rochelle had some good points.

John – I grew up on the Yukon. I don’t usually ask for apologies, it did frustrate me. Charlie and Rochelle, about commenting on them being old posts. {read post} he doesn’t have to apologize to me, but that was a post written last night. Over the years, the Dept. of Fish and Game did the best they could to manage the people. It bothers me that we can develop arguments and excuses.

Carina – Senators Sullivans Office: It’s been really helpful to listen. I commend all of you for participating.

Victor- Reason I brought you up. Our culture, our nature, the Non-Native adopted our ways and helped us out a lot. 2,000 miles, everyone does things differently but it all comes down to the fish. I’m seeing it. I don’t want it to disappear on my watch.
Carina – I’m happy to listen and thank you for sharing that.

Old Crow: Stanley- The situation is just as dire uphere in the Porcupine River. There is a lot being said. But I think if we aren’t fishing, because the numbers are low the future doesn’t look good for them. Do we put on a different hat? Do we put in a different effort? We look at all the building blocks for the fishery. I think management is doing their job. We need them. Nevertheless it may be time to take another effort. How do we change policy? They are going to want proof. We need to establish a think take on how we can move forward and conserve chinook stock. It doesn’t take the management people. It has to be other people that are resourceful outside of management. It won’t hurt anything at this point. It would be a worthwhile effort to come up with a committee and a DNA plan. It’s going to take a long time to put together a plan. The elders that used to live in the Rampart house, they used to talk about the salmon that would come up the channel there. They were limited in the gear that they had at that point. Those are the reasons. The spawning grounds are here. But where are the salmon? Don’t give up. Keep moving forward to protect your resources. Diplomacy is everything. We have a lot to work on.

Dawson: Natasha – Don’t have too much to add, wanted to weigh in and say that I am here listening and deeply saddened by what I am hearing up and down the river. We feel for the pain that first nations are going through in Alaska and Canada. Trondek Gwitchin has this initiative in place that we abstain from harvest but honestly we don’t have many people on the river anymore. Thank STan for his sermon. We knew these times were coming and now we have hit rock bottom. We know there are many issues affecting Chinook salmon. Some we may not be able to address and some we can. We could be changing the management approach. My thoughts are with everyone who is feeling the loss of Chinook salmon this year.

Whitehorse: Elizabeth – We have been having really high water, record high. Lots of sandbagging. A friend’s place was putting sandbags around their house to keep it dry. Yukoners all over the place coming together to save homes and memories along the river. It seems to be coming down now. Covid, the first wave, is affecting a few more people, a few deaths. Mostly affecting unvaccinated people. No fishing going on . They are not in the Whitehorse area yet but they are in Canada. We are hoping to make escapement. In the Yukon, Chinook, people want to fish for them but we haven’t had the opportunity to for a long time now. We rely on other food sources because we have had to for so long. Disaster relief funds do not exist in Canada. There is no assistance for the lack of fish. Most commercial fishers on the Yukon River in Canada did not benefit from assistance. Only grandfathered licenses. If there isn’t fish there, there is no compensation.

Victor – I think I offended someone in Canada, I said something about the mining and I want to apologize. I think it is so important that we are working with the Canadians.
Stanley – there are a couple of Old Ramparts and I think the one you are referring to is just inside the Canadian Border.

Serena – Concludes our Teleconference for today. If you have questions, please direct them to

———-Call ends at 3:52pm——-

ADF&G HOTLINE: 1-866-479-7387 & Fairbanks 907-459-7387
Fairbanks Office 907-459-7274, Emmonak Office 907-949-1320

Scroll to Top