Welcome to the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe Environmental Department Page
YTT ENVIRONMENTAL: FISHERIES PROGRAM
Developing conservation concerns about local salmon stocks have highlighted the need for building fisheries monitoring and management capacity at the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe. The Situk River has historically been one of the most productive salmon rivers in Alaska and is the primary resource of subsistence salmon for the community. In recent years, our salmon populations have declined. YTT’s Fisheries Biologist will be monitoring the Situk River to instill place-based knowledge and to stimulate stewardship. Being on the River almost every day during peak seasons, the biologist will gain stronger understanding of issues or data gaps needed to inform management. The biologist will engage in the management process on behalf of YTT, implement a fisheries program, projects, and attend fishery conferences to have YTT presence.
Historically, Tlingit clans had subsistence territories they managed themselves for the health of the land and the community’s needs. Today, this relationship to ancestral lands and waters is still important to tribal citizens. Since the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) was enacted in 1980, decisions have been made through a dual management system. In Yakutat, the Fish and Game Advisory Committee meets biannually to discuss current events and reach agreements on what action to take. Public comments are welcome to help guide decisions and best represent the interests of local peoples. Yakutat’s consensus then is taken to the Board of Fish, where final decisions are made. To voice your opinion or concern on local issues regarding state regulations, submit a comment or a proposal on something that’s important to you.
Comments are due two weeks before the corresponding Board of Fish meeting, schedule can be found here. Proposals can also be sent to P.O. Box 115526 Juneau, AK 99811-5523; or submitted by fax to 907-465-6094.
For additional information, call Yakutat’s Advisory Committee Coordinator, Annie Bartholomew, at 907-465-4046 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
river ranger partnership
The YTT Fisheries Biologist is partnering with the USFS River Ranger to serve as the primary contacts to the public. The team’s primary job is to contact Situk users to promote stewardship and cultural awareness. Being on the river almost every day during peak fishing seasons, they can provide a range of services.
YTT Fisheries Biologist and USFS River Ranger will communicate conservation messages to anglers streamside on topics like catch and release, don’t tread on redds, salmon ecology, angler etiquette, regulations, alternative fishing sites, and habitat degradation. The biologist provides river users with context about history and cultural importance of salmon.
In the past, brown bears learning to associate anglers with a fish has been a safety concern for both people and bears on the Situk. However, in coordination with the USFS Wildlife biologist and Fish and Game, the River Rangers have aggressively worked to curb the behaviors amongst fisherman that lead to this problem. The consistent presence of the partners alone will prompt stewardship and good behavior amongst the varied Situk River users. Finally, in some cases education isn’t enough and at least one of the rangers is a Forest Protection Officer able to enforce regulations.
The Situk River Partners brings together stakeholders to reach a common goal – the health of our
river and consequently our resources and economy. 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.
All stakeholders and Situk River user groups are welcome to attend the Situk River Partners Meeting, Friday, March 13th at 1pm in the Yakutat Kwaan conference room. Public comment on Situk River management issues is invited. See attached agenda for more information. See you there!
The Southeast Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council is meeting March 24 – 26 in Juneau. Public comments are welcome for each issue being discussed on the agenda. If you are unable to attend in person, a teleconference line is available at 1-866-560-5984, when prompted enter the passcode 12960066.
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