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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Bristol Bay Area
Subsistence fishing research

The most important and valuable ongoing subsistence fishing research in Bristol Bay is the Subsistence Salmon Permit System which relies on participation by Bristol Bay subsistence fishers. Subsistence Salmon permits are required by regulation to subsistence fish for salmon. The information obtained by permit returns is invaluable to managers so they can make decisions to insure that the subsistence salmon needs of rural residents are maintained. The system only works if people obtain a permit, fill out the permit return information on the back of the permit and return the permit to ADF&G when they have finished fishing for the season. This information includes the date, method, species, amount and location of all harvests for the household.

Intermittently projects that document the customary and traditional use of fisheries resources are conducted in Bristol Bay communities. Community subsistence harvest surveys conducted by Subsistence Division with the approval of and in partnership with Village Councils\local governments’ document harvest amounts and information about the availability and abundance of resources. Local and Traditional Knowledge (LTK) research records what local people have observed and know about all aspects of the resources based on knowledge shared from one generation to the next. This research is reported in Division of Subsistence Technical Papers and helps resource managers make informed decisions.