Federal research group seeks public input on Alaska’s salmon

Pacific salmon (Courtesy Karley Parker)

The Alaska Salmon Research Task Force is seeking public input on its report about Alaska salmon and their life cycles.

Members of the federal group — which formed in June — are tasked with building a report on data gaps in Pacific salmon research and supporting sustainable management of declining salmon stocks, especially in the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers.

The task force was formed in accordance with federal legislation that was passed in December 2022. Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski sponsored the bill that became the Alaska Salmon Research Task Force Act. The 19-member group is made up of federal appointments as well a diverse group of Alaska stakeholders, including subsistence users, members of the fishing industry and academics.

Their final report is set to be finished in June of next year. The roughly 30-page document will be based on input from the task force and its Yukon Kuskokwim Working Group and public comment.

Currently, the group is seeking input on existing knowledge, research gaps and applied research that can help create a better understanding of declining salmon returns in parts of Alaska.

The task force is especially interested in Indigenous and traditional knowledge that can help staff develop a more in-depth understanding of the Pacific salmon life cycle.

Comments can be submitted online through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website. The public can also provide oral comments during the task force’s next meeting on Nov. 14 and 15 in Anchorage.

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