Browsing University of Alaska Anchorage by Subject "salmon populations"
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Copper River Salmon Habitat Management StudyIn 2006, Ecotrust commissioned the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage to conduct a study on land managers’ perceptions of salmon habitat management in the Copper River Watershed (CRW). ISER interviewed 20 managers from 10 organizations representing Federal agencies (BLM, USACE, USFS, USFWS), State of Alaska agencies (ADFG, DEC, DNR) and Alaska Native Corporations (AHTNA, EYAK). The study was conducted to examine managers’ perceptions about the current status of watershed management with regard to health of salmon populations. By interviewing resource managers, the research was conducted to determine threats to salmon habitat and to expose the most vulnerable geographic areas of the watershed, examine potential goals for long-term management, isolate the identities of key individuals who can influence the success of long-term management and enforcement of regulations, ascertain possible changes that could be made to current management plans, and identify the most effective political tools for effective management of salmon habitat within the watershed. The research was conducted to answer the following questions: 1. What are the economic, political and social impediments to the immediate and long-term effective management of wild salmon and their habitat from the perspective of fishery managers? 2. How can these impediments be mitigated in the future?
Long-Term Outlook for Salmon Returns to AlaskaWith the exception of some western Alaska stocks, Alaska's salmon populations are numerically healthy. However, even fisheries on abundant stocks are suffering economically due to sharp declines in the value of the catch. The abundance of Alaskan salmon stocks has fluctuated greatly, both in modern times and prehistorically. These fluctuations are thought to be caused by multi-decadal changes in environmental conditions over large areas that affect many other species as well as salmon. Forecasts of salmon returns are not very reliable, and the potential for significant improvement in their accuracy is low in the short term. A viable fishing industry must be able to adapt to dramatic, persistent, and unanticipated changes in harvest levels. Nonetheless, Alaska's salmon stocks should continue to produce healthy harvests for the foreseeable future, barring significant damage to their habitat either via local activities or global warming.