Petersburg Pilot -


State seeks local histories as it studies salmon decline


The Subsistence Division of Alaska Department of Fish and Game is looking to interview local residents about their experiences on the Stikine River as it attempts to better understand Chinook salmon declines.

The Chinook Salmon Research Initiative, a state-funded research project aimed at better understanding statewide salmon stocks, is funding the local project.

In 2001, fishermen harvested more than 70,000 Chinooks from the Stikine. By 2009, those numbers dipped below 20,000 harvested fish.

Rosalie Grant, Subsistence Research Specialist for Alaska Department of Fish and Game, will be conducting interviews this winter to collect historical information and observations of people who live on and around the Stikine River.

“People who fish on the river, spend time on the river, nobody can compete with them on how many observations they’ve had,” Grant said.

Grant said Stikine data collection didn’t begin in earnest until around 1978 and better understanding Chinook stocks before that time is crucial to understanding overall habitat and ecological changes.

“If somebody wants to tell us one story we can do it that way or if someone wants to talk to us all day about their life on the Stikine they can do that,” Grant said.

Residents from Petersburg, Wrangell and Telegraph Creek are invited to take part in the research.

Those interested in telling their stories should contact Grant at 907-465-2629. She will be in Petersburg and Wrangell in November where she hopes to conduct the bulk of the interviews. ADFG will pay between $50-$100 depending on the length and time period of the story.


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