“Chinook salmon are iconic to Alaska and its people and have been one of our most valuable resources for thousands of years,” said Cora Campbell, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in the introduction to Chinook News.
The department’s newest publication, a 12-page edition in newspaper format, is designed to highlight the major issues surrounding Chinook salmon in Alaska while giving the reader an overview of what ADF&G is doing to understand and sustainably manage this important resource.
“Today, Alaska’s Chinook salmon stocks are suffering from a prolonged period of poor productivity and research suggests the problem lies mostly in the marine environment,” said Ed Jones, Chinook Salmon Research Initiative Coordinator. “This is not unprecedented, has happened historically, and it’s not a matter of if the runs will rebound, but when.”
Weak Chinook salmon runs have impacted subsistence harvests, sport fishing opportunities and commercial activity. The State of Alaska launched the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative in 2012 to determine the causes for the down turn in production and provide the information necessary to better predict Chinook salmon runs in the future and better manage fisheries to sustain harvests even during years of low runs. Over the next five years, the Initiative will study 12 river systems throughout Alaska through the support of Governor Parnell and the Alaska Legislature.
ADF&G is committed to keeping all Alaskans informed about this issue and has developed a special section of its website specifically for the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=chinookinitiative.main. Chinook News can be found at this website, as well as ADF&G offices around the state.