Pacific Salmon: Ecology and Management of Western Alaska’s Populations

Introduction to Fishery Management

John R. Hilsinger, Steven Klein, and Charles C. Krueger


This section was organized to examine management strategies in a variety of fisheries in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) region. Current management of Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus in the region is based on a mix of local knowledge and Western science used by state, federal, and international organizations to regulate harvests and sustain runs. Management of AYK salmon is characterized by a complex jurisdictional relationship among the State of Alaska, several U.S. federal agencies, and the Canadian federal government. U.S. federal agencies, which managed AYK salmon fisheries until statehood in 1959, continue to play a role in managing marine areas such as through the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and regulate subsistence fisheries on Federal public lands. International bodies affecting salmon management include the Yukon River Panel organized under the U.S.–Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty and the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, which has a management role in marine areas. The State of Alaska, through the Alaska Department of Fish Game, is the primary manager of the freshwater portions of the salmon life cycle.