Utilizing local and traditional knowledge (LTK) to better understand Stikine River Chinook populations over time: a case study from Wrangell and Petersburg, Alaska

Ream, Joshua - Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) stocks have declined throughout Alaska in recent years. The State of Alaska has chosen twelve indicator stocks to monitor, including Stikine River Chinook salmon in southeast Alaska. As part of the Chinook Salmon Research Initiative that was implemented to better understand recent declines, local and traditional knowledge (LTK) was identified as an important source of observational information. This study documented the LTK of key respondents who participate in commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries from Wrangell and Petersburg, communities located in proximity to the mouth of the Stikine River. Respondents offered insights on Stikine River Chinook migration, behavior, health, abundance, and habitat, as well as local perspectives on the management, conservation, and importance of this species.