SkipperScience Partnership Launches Nushagak King Salmon Mapping Project with Bristol Bay Fishermen for 2023 Season

Dillingham, Alaska (KINY) – The SkipperScience Partnership, the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA), and the University of Washington are expanding the SkipperScience citizen science program to help fisheries managers and researchers better understand salmon migration patterns. Nushagak River chinook worldwide. both time and space.

The program could improve understanding of Chinook salmon escape by identifying and protecting Chinook migration corridors, and assist sockeye fishermen with the potential for an earlier opening of the sockeye salmon season.

One of Skipper Science’s key tools is a community-owned smartphone app and database that allows anglers to record real-time observations from the fishing grounds.

“Skipper Science is a valuable resource for researchers, managers, and policy makers. Fishermen participating in the Skipper Science Partnership have demonstrated their ability to translate observations into quality data through use of the app and dialogues with managers. We are delighted to be working on projects such as the Nushagak King Salmon Mapping Project which shows how the program is working directly with fisheries managers and the scientific community to meaningfully incorporate data and observations from fishermen into their decision-making. decisions”. said Hannah-Marie Garcia, Skipper Science Program Coordinator who works for the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island.

“As a Bristol Bay fisherman affected by fishing closures due to recent poor Chinook yields in the Nushagak, I am proud and grateful to be able to lend a meaningful hand to our fisheries managers as we work together as a Bristol Bay community. Bristol to allow as much as possible. as much commercial fishing activity as possible while protecting Chinook returns. SkipperScience gives us a tool to do just that and I hope fellow anglers will join me in rolling up our sleeves and lending a hand here so we can all come out on the other side of this with plenty of Chinook escape in the Nush and plenty early. It’s also fishing time in June,” said Michael Jackson, a Bristol Bay fisherman and BBRSDA board member. The Nushagak King Mapping Project gives fishermen the opportunity to be part of the solution and put their expertise to work.”

“The conservation of king salmon in the Nushagak district during the (predominantly) sockeye salmon fishery is a key issue in the spotlight after several years of extremely strong sockeye salmon surges and relatively weak king returns. It’s critical to better understand the spatial distribution of kings in the Nushagak district and how that might change throughout the season. The existing Skipper Science app is a perfect platform for the fleet to provide catch rate data that can enable managers for years to come to make decisions about when and where commercial fishing can open while allowing for proper escape of Chinook. said Curry Cunningham, an assistant professor. with the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

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