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

Introduction to Lessons from Other Fisheries

Charles C. Krueger and Christian E. Zimmerman


Much can be learned from experiences of scientists and managers of fisheries beyond the borders of the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) region, in other regions of Alaska, and across North America. By learning from the successes and failures outside Alaska, it is our hope that innovative or improved strategies can be identified to better manage the uncertainties and risks associated with AYK salmon resources. This set of papers examines a broad range of fishery issues outside of the AYK region organized around ecology, governance, and management

The ecology section addresses two important issues. The first issue addresses how one defines the units of management focus. Based on salmon life history traits, varying spatial scales can be used, from a watershed to a specific spawning site. The second issue is the organization of information to assist management decision making. This task can be addressed using various models, including expert opinion, statistical, and simulation models.

The governance section contains three papers which describe non-binding collaborative approaches to management at scales from watersheds to the Laurentian Great Lakes. Such agreements do not have authority to compel action but rely on strong relationships built over time that lead to trust among the participants and their organizations.

The last section on management arose out of the desire to identify and use lessons learned elsewhere to assist in AYK salmon management. This collection of papers includes approaches to fishery management in Bristol Bay, British Columbia, the Columbia River, Oregon, Great Lakes, and Atlantic salmon management in North America and Europe. A common theme within this set of papers is the need to use high quality information interpreted within a proper conceptual model for the system being managed, while at the same time recognizing that the information contains levels of uncertainty that yields risk in management decision making.