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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


State of Alaska Special Status Species
Fish Stocks of Concern

The Policy for the Management of Sustainable Salmon Fisheries (SSFP; 5 AAC 39.222, effective 2000, amended 2001) directs the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) to provide the Alaska Board of Fisheries with reports on the status of salmon stocks and identify any salmon stock that present a concern. The SSFP defines three levels of concern (Yield, Management, and Conservation) with yield being the lowest level of concern and conservation the highest level of concern.

Yield Concern

A stock of yield concern is defined as "a concern arising from a chronic inability, despite the use of specific management measures, to maintain specific yields, or harvestable surpluses, above a stock's escapement needs; a yield concern is less severe than a management concern" (5 AAC 39.222(f)(42)).

The SSFP defines chronic inability as "the continuing or anticipated inability to meet expected yields over a 4 to 5 year period."

Management Concern

A stock of management concern is defined as “a concern arising from a chronic inability, despite the use of specific management measures, to maintain escapements for a salmon stock within the bounds of the SEG, BEG, OEG, or other specified management objectives for the fishery; a management concern is not as severe as a conservation concern.” (5 AAC 39.222(f)(21))

Further, SEG (Sustainable Escapement Goal) is defined as “a level of escapement, indicated by an index or an escapement estimate, that is known to provide for sustained yield over a 5 to 10 year period, used in situations where BEG cannot be estimated due to the absence of a stock specific catch estimate; the SEG is the primary management objective for the escapement, unless an optimal escapement or inriver run goal has been adopted by the board, and will be developed from the best available biological information; the SEG will be determined by the department and will be stated as a range that takes into account data uncertainty; the department will seek to maintain escapements within the bounds of SEG.”(5 AAC 39.222(f)(36))

BEG (Biological Escapement Goal) is defined as “the escapement that provides the greatest potential for maximum sustained yield; BEG will be the primary management objective for the escapement unless an optimal escapement or inriver goal has been adopted; BEG will be developed from the best available biological information, and should be scientifically defensible on the basis of available biological information; BEG will be determined by the department and will be expressed as a range based on factors suck as salmon stock productivity and data uncertainty; the department will seek to maintain evenly distributed salmon escapements within the bounds of BEG.” (5 AAC 39.222(f)(3))

OEG (Optimal Escapement Goal) is defined as “a specific management objective for salmon escapement that considers biological and allocative factors and may differ from SEG or BEG; the OEG will be sustainable and may be expressed as a range with the lower bound above the level of SET [Sustained Escapement Threshold: see Conservation Concern definitions], and will be adopted as a regulation by the board; the department will seek to maintain evenly distributed escapements within the bounds of the OEG.” (5 AAC 39.222(f)(25))

Conservation Concern

A stock of conservation concern is defined as “a concern arising from a chronic inability, despite the use of specific management measures, to maintain escapements for a stock above a sustained escapement threshold (SET); a conservation concern is more severe than a management concern.” (5 AAC 39.222(f)(6))

Further, sustained escapement threshold (SET) is defined as “a threshold level of escapement, below which the ability of the salmon stock to sustain itself is jeopardized; in practice, SET can be estimated based on lower ranges of historical escapement levels, for which the salmon stock has consistently demonstrated the ability to sustain itself; the SET is lower than the lower bound of the BEG [Biological Escapement Goal: see Management Concern definitions] and lower than the lower bound of the SEG [Sustainable Escapement Goal: see Management Concern definitions]; the SET is established by the department in consultation with the board, as needed, for salmon stock of management or conservation concern.” (5 AAC 39.222(f)(39)

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