Fish and Game to conduct Dillingham survey on subsistence fishing in the Nushagak River

Jan 17, 2017

Alaska Department of Fish and Game will conduct in-person household surveys in Dillingham in the coming weeks about subsistence fishing of king salmon in the Nushagak River.

The site used for the Nushagak sonar counting operation.
Credit Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Since 2013, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has been conducting research and surveys about subsistence fishing of king salmon in the Nushagak River. In January and February they will be wrapping up the research portion of the study with a household survey in Dillingham. Ted Krieg is a Subsistence Resource Specialist with ADF&G’s Division of Subsistence.

“Basically we want to know how much was harvested,” says Krieg. “We have questions about whether it was subsistence caught or removed from commercial. And then another big part of subsistence is the sharing part of it. So households that maybe didn’t harvest their own got fish from other people.”

This research on the Nushagak River is a part of ADF&G’s statewide research effort, the Chinook Salmon Initiative. As king runs statewide have declined, Krieg says the Nushagak’s king run seems to be doing well. The hope is that research on the Nushagak will shed light on what conditions have helped preserve its king run

Over the past several years, the Division of Subsistence in Dillingham has conducted two household surveys in the communities of Koliganek, New Stuyahok, Ekwok, Dillingham, and Clarks Point. This month’s survey will be the second conducted in Dillingham.

Official results will be tallied in the spring and summer of this year. But Krieg says what he has seen bodes well for subsistence fishing on the Nushagak.

“For the most part, people pretty much on the Nushagak seem to be getting what they need. King returns have remained good.”

Surveys will be conducted in-person with randomly selected households in the coming weeks. Participation is voluntary.