Yukon River Panel

Yukon Watershed v2

The 1985 Pacific Salmon Treaty included commitments by the Parties to further negotiate on Yukon River salmon. Seventeen years later, the Yukon River Salmon Agreement establishing the Yukon River Panel and its Joint Technical Committee was recognized in an exchange of notes by both the United States and Canada on December 4, 2002. The Agreement now forms Chapter 8 of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (1985).

In a departure from other Panel arrangements, the Agreement assigns many functions and responsibilities of the Pacific Salmon Commission directly to the Yukon River Panel itself. Further, in the event the Pacific Salmon Treaty is ever terminated, the Agreement can stand on its own under the name Yukon River Salmon Treaty with the functions of the Panel to be assumed by a new commission referred to as the Yukon River Salmon Commission.

The Yukon River Panel’s main responsibilities, pertaining to Yukon River salmon stocks of Canadian-origin, are to:

  • Develop and implement agreed research and management programs;
  • Make annual recommendations to the respective responsible management agencies of both countries concerning conservation and management coordination;
  • Set and adjust annual salmon spawning escapement objectives, if necessary, based on pre-season projections, stock status and recommendations from the JTC; and
  • Oversee the use and administration of the Restoration and Enhancement Fund.

Mr. Steve Gotch (Chair)
Mr. Sebastian Jones
Mr. Stanley Njootli, Sr
Mr. Dennis Zimmerman
Ms. Pauline Frost


Ms. Cathy Merkel (Alternate Chair)
Ms. Cheyenne Bradley
Mr. Tim Gerberding
Mr. James MacDonald
Mr. Robert Perry
Ms. Elizabeth MacDonald

Mr. John Linderman (Co-Chair)
Mr. Ragnar Alstrom
Mr. Andrew Bassich
Ms. Rhonda Pitka
Mr. Erik Weingarth
Ms. Sarah Conn


Ms. Carolyn Brown
Mr. John Lamont, Jr.
Mr. Virgil Umphenour
Mr. Sven Pauken
Ms. Ellen Yasumiishi
Mr. Charlie Wright

How it Works

To enable the conservation and coordinated management of Yukon River salmon stocks of Canadian origin, the 12 member Yukon River Panel meet twice a year, pre-season and post-season to make recommendations to the responsible management entities on both sides of the Alaska-Yukon border. The Agreement helps to ensure that adequate numbers of salmon are allowed to pass from the United States into Canada to spawn in their natal streams.

The Panel also has responsibility for an annual US $1.2 million Restoration and Enhancement Fund which financially supports projects directed at the restoration, conservation and enhancement of Canadian-origin salmon stocks and programs to develop the stewardship of salmon habitat and resources.

Unlike other regional Panels established under the Pacific Salmon Treaty, the Yukon River Panel follows its own internal by-laws and procedures, which are independent from the Pacific Salmon Commission.

Yukon River Panel website