The Yukon River Panel was established under the Yukon River Salmon Agreement. This International advisory body is comprised of 6 representatives of the Canadian Section and 6 representatives of the United States. (YRP) makes recommendations to management entities on both sides of the border concerning the conservation and management of salmon originating in Canada.
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Yukon River Panel Web Site
Rapids Research Center, Rapids Video Fish Wheel Project, and the Student Data Project at Rapids have all been been supported by Yukon River Panel funding or helped greatly by one of their projects.
The Yukon River Panel (YRP) has put together a listing of internet links to community and fishing areas up and down the river with local fisheries information available. Below is ours:
Rapids Research Center Fishery Info
Nearest Community: Tanana, Population: 300
Cultures: Koyukon Athabascan Languages: English and limited Athabascan
Habitat: white spruce, willow, alder and popular near rivers and black spruce tundra away from rivers
Avg. Temp: In winter on clear days 20 to 40 below, on cloudy days 10 above to 20 below. In summer on clear days 60 to 75 and on cloudy days 50 to 60
What is the main source of employment? Full time: Tanana Tribal Council, Tanana School, City of Tanana, Tozitna Limited, Toogha Water Plant. Part time: Commercial fishing, wood cutting, trapping
How far is your community from: Teslin, YT: 547 miles in a straight line, Nunam
Iqua, AK:350 miles in a straight line,
Other: Mouth of Yukon River (Emmonak) as the river flows is 731 to Rapids
River by community: Yukon River
Color: Gray silty in summer and clear in winter Visibility: very poor in summer (couple of inches) and drinking water clear in winter Width: average - 1/2 mile Avg. Depth: Channel runs 30 - 40 feet, but can be as shallow as 7’ (maximum depth across entire river) in very low water in certain sections and in Rapids there is a swirl hole 130’ deep at high water.
Bottom structure: small gravel to hard rock bottom
Temperature and river speed example - Date Taken: Aug 4th Temp: 16.35* C Velocity: 3.5 mph at Rapids fish wheel
Types of Salmon in your River:
Chinook Avg. Length: 70.9 cm (2006) Avg. Weight: 11.9 lbs (2006)
Color: gray to blushed Flesh: red
Chum Avg. Length: 58.4 (2004) Avg. Weight: approx. 7.2 lbs
Colour: silver to red/black/green marked Flesh: white
to deep red
Coho Avg. Length: approx. 55 cm Avg. Weight: approx. 6.5 lbs
Colour: blushed silver to red green marked Flesh: white
Traditional Salmon Names, Native Name & Common names:
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Chinook, Lug'aka'a, king --- Chum, Noolaaghe, dog --- Coho, Nudlaghi, silver
When do the salmon pass your community? Do they spawn near your community?
Chinook pass normally around 6/10 to 8/1 and they spawn locally (Tozitna River)
Chum 7/1 to beyond freezeup and they spawn locally (Tozitna River and others)
Coho 9/10 to beyond freezeup and they spawn locally (Tozitna River)
How far have the salmon migrated to get to your community? 700 miles
What is the traditional knowledge used in your community for:
The arrival of the fall chum salmon is determined by this as the fishers watch for the changing quality and color of the chum. Net and fish wheel sites are all traditional spots passed down from generations of users. Arrival dates of Chinook are mostly remembered, although elders would often say when the poplar cotton was in the air the kings would come or when the June water raises it’s cause the river is filling with king.
Why is Salmon important to your community?
It is a major source of food. The customary trade associated with it provides some of the gas and money necessary to get out and fish. Commercial fishing provides a small income to some. Salmon provides the ability for some to raise families in a healthy fish camp environment.
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Type of Fishery: How many. How many salmon harvested? licenses?
Subsistence: No license required in immediate area (by Rampart proposed road and Yukon Bridge a free permit is required). The Tanana chum take, because of sled dog use, has been about 25,000 in the past but is lower than that lately. King salmon take can be 3-5000 in whole district.
Commercial: 11 active locally in 2006 with a take of 2000 Chinook for the whole district. Commercial quota for whole district (5) not to exceed 2800 fish.
How many fish camps in your community: 14 active (2006) in Rapids and Tanana area. But many more in town fishers with beach racks and in yard smokehouses.
What are salmon used for? How are they prepared?
Income, trade, Food for people and sled dogs
Chinook: People - Smoked, Canned, frozen, Cooked fresh.
Chum: People and Dogs - Smoked, Canned, frozen, Cooked fresh, dried or cribbed for dogs.
Coho: People and Dogs - Smoked, Canned, frozen, Cooked fresh, dried or cribbed for dogs.
What concerns does your community have about salmon populations?
1. The declining size of king salmon is a concern as fishers see the fish getting smaller and realize we may pass this condition on to our children. This means less pounds of flesh for each fish caught and for commercial fishers who have a quota based on fish numbers it means less money as fish are sold by the pound.
2. Also each year the subsistence king fishery ends not because of the lack of king running but because of the increase towards the later part, of the Ichthyophonus disease (ICH). This disease makes the fish unusable for people food and in 2006 was found in 14.2% of large males and 29.8% of females sampled at Rapids. Below are ICH pictures - <<<< click on to enlarge >>>>
What can your community do to help salmon populations?
Be supportive of studies into the causes and solutions to above problems. Be flexible enough to change fishing habits if needed for corrective actions to improve runs. Make sure local spawning streams are treated carefully.
Industry: No industry at present so no impacts.
Mining: Small scale gold mining scattered in the area. Some exploration for other minerals going on.
Do mining in your community impact salmon and if so how?
There have been past isolated instances of local salmon streams running full of silt (because of gold mines) in the middle of summer runs but generally this is not a problem each year. One larger, local body of water (Fish Lake) has had it’s depth reduced considerably due to mining silt over many years.
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