Alaska Subsistence Management

To identify and provide information needed to sustain subsistence fisheries and wildlife management on Federal public lands, for rural Alaskans, through a multidisciplinary, collaborative program.

Three programs are administered under ANILCA to fulfill this objective.

The Fisheries Resource
Monitoring Program (Monitoring Program) funds approximately 80 studies annually to provide information on stock status and trends, harvests, and traditional ecological knowledge to manage and regulate Federal subsistence fisheries.

The Partners for Fisheries Monitoring Program (Partners Program) strengthens Alaska Native and rural involvement subsistence fisheries and research.

The program provides funds directly to Alaska Native and rural organizations to hire fishery biologists, social scientists, and educators to implement fisheries monitoring projects and rural internship programs.

The Liaison and Staff Support Grant to the State of Alaska is directed specifically to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The grant defrays salary and travel expenses that occur in support of the coordination between State and Federal subsistence fish and wildlife programs.
Examples of Funded Projects

Monitoring Program: There are more than 330 known steelhead streams in Southeast Alaska.

The numbers of adult fish in these streams were estimated in the late 1980s.

Most populations are thought to be quite small, with an annual run size of 100 or fewer adult steelhead.

Approximately 56 streams are estimated to have run sizes of more than 200 fish, of which 12 are thought to contain more than 500 fish.

Several systems may contain adult runs of 1,000 or more fish.

Of the approximately 330 steelhead streams in Southeast Alaska, 75 are located on Prince of Wales Island.

A three-year project to assess adult steelhead populations through the use of weirs on five Prince of Wales Island streams concluded in 2007 and a final report is being prepared.

The data gathered will help ensure careful management of steelhead stocks.

The steelhead population assessment project is a cooperative effort of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Organized Village of Kasaan, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Forest Service.

A study documenting traditional methods of harvest, use and processing of steelhead was completed in 2005.

This was a cooperative effort of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Craig Community Association, Klawock Cooperative Association, and Hydaburg Cooperative Association.

Partners Program: The success of the Fisheries Resource Monitoring Program depends upon a well informed public, and support of the program and resulting projects within rural communities.

However, most rural communities and organizations do not have the capacity to meaningfully participate in the program, and many people do not understand how the program operates.

Within the Kuskokwim region, Kuskokwim Native Association was recently awarded two positions, a fishery biologist and an educator position.

The biologist will serve as a co-investigator on seven Monitoring Program projects and serve as a mentor for rural college student interns.

The educator will mentor students working on Monitoring Program projects during the summer and assist students in the fall while they bring what they learned into their classrooms.


Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - For the Fisheries Monitoring and Partners for Fisheries Monitoring Programs: Kathleen Orzechowski, Program Specialist, Office of Subsistence Management, Fisheries Information Service Division, 3601 C Street, Suite 1030, Anchorage, Alaska 99503.

Telephone: (907)786-3645, E-mail: kathleen_orzechowski@fws.gov.

For the Liaison and Staff Support Grant: Greg Risdahl, Wildlife Biologist, Office of Subsistence Management, Fisheries Division, 3601 C Street, Suite 1030, Anchorage, AK 99503, Telephone: (907) 786-3678, E-mail: reg_risdahl@fws.gov.