Yukon River Pre-Season Planning Process

The project goal is to conduct public outreach to an adult audience of active Yukon River fishers to build a more aware public constituency that is motivated to maintain and protect salmon stocks. Over the past five years, the Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association (YRDFA) has hosted a one-day meeting to discuss pre-season planning for the management of declining Canadian origin Chinook salmon. Meeting attendees included Tribal council representatives and consortia, state and federal agencies and other Yukon River fishery stakeholders. The meetings were an accomplishment; a majority of stakeholders along the Alaskan portion of the Yukon River met together to discuss how to protect Canadian origin Chinook salmon. An additional past accomplishment included an agreed upon outcome from the meetings to close the first and possibly second Chinook salmon pulses. While difficult to agree to, Alaskan fishermen understood they were working in partnership with fisheries managers to try to achieve border passage.
The most recent meeting was held in Anchorage in April 2015 and was a successful meeting with many participants from all along the Yukon River that actively participated in discussions about the salmon fisheries. The meeting prior was planned in coordination with the international summit, also funded by the Yukon River Panel. Based on past successes and the continued forecast for poor Canadian origin Chinook salmon runs, the 2016 meeting is needed to continue to prepare people for the upcoming fishing season, continue the unprecedented Chinook salmon conservation success of the past years and to demonstrate to Alaskan fishers the appreciation of Alaskan Yukon fishery managers. This project has previously demonstrated that outreach through face-to-face meetings with the Yukon River public has led to increased community partnership with fisheries managers in their management efforts to conserve Canadian origin Chinook salmon.