By Havaleh Rohloff, Fisheries Biologist
YTT encourages its members to comment on Situk River management by calling the Fisheries Biologist at 784-3238 ext.106, emailing email@example.com, or leaving a message on the fisheries website. These comments will be taken into consideration at our next meeting after the season on October 5th (details to be announced). See the most recent meeting summary below.
Situk River Partners Meeting Summary: March 13, 2020
In 2002, federal, state, tribal and local entities responsible for Situk watershed management, its resources, and the activities in the area formed a partnership to address community concerns. The Situk River Partners brings together stakeholders to reach a common goal – the health of our river and consequently our resources and economy. Representatives include U.S. Forest Service, City & Borough of Yakutat, State of Alaska, Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These partners develop management plans to address public concerns and resource issues. The Situk Partners provide a vital collaboration that was re-instituted this month after not meeting for 9 years.
Topics from the March 13th meeting included: noncompliance actions, personal motorized boat use, Strawberry Point cleanup, and Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) weir cameras. It was mentioned that many Situk users have been seen camping within 50 feet of the river banks, which negatively impacts the river by damaging riparian vegetation and increasing soil erosion. Increasing personal motorized boat use in the Situk River is a current concern due to the potential habitat degradation by displacing substrate. However, the power to address this issue lies outside of the jurisdiction of Situk Partners. The Board of Fish is the regulating authority with the power to change this regulation and accepts public comment and proposal.
A topic of concern for many partners was the need to clean up Strawberry Point of anything outside of a permit holder’s footprint. A community clean-up day was suggested to remove all abandoned materials and litter. Local Yakutat ADF&G’s new sport fish biologist, Jason Pawluk, was introduced and spoke on behalf of the commercial biologist, Rick Hofman. ADF&G has been exploring the feasibility of a fully operational camera system for enumeration at the Situk River weir. Funding and employee constraints will likely limit the initiative, but partners will keep working towards a functional system to accurately capture all fish passage.
Public comment during this in-person meeting was not taken, but is encouraged by phone and email to any local partnering agency. To comment on Situk River management through YTT, please call the Fisheries Biologist at 784-3238 ext.106, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our fisheries website and fill out the ‘leave a message’ section. These comments will be taken into consideration at our next meeting after the season on October 5th (details to be announced) with a management action plan to follow.