Bristol Bay —
Critical Habitat Area
Management Plan - Development - June 2011
In 1972 the Alaska Legislature established five state critical habitat areas (CHAs; § 2 ch 140 SLA 1972) at major estuaries along the southern shore of Bristol Bay. These areas were legislatively designated in order to protect natural habitat and game populations, especially waterfowl and shorebirds. As one heads from north to south along the Alaska Peninsula, the Bristol Bay CHAs are as follows: Egegik CHA at the mouth of Egegik River; Pilot Point CHA at the mouths of King Salmon and Ugashik rivers; Cinder River CHA at the mouth of Cinder River and Mud Creek; Port Heiden CHA at the mouth of Meshik River; and Port Moller CHA in Port Moller itself and near the mouth of the Sapsuk River. Together, the five Bristol Bay CHAs encompass approximately 284,050 acres, including state lands, waters, and tide and submerged lands.
The purpose of the Bristol Bay Critical Habitat Areas Management Plan is to provide consistent, long-range guidance to ADF&G in managing the critical habitat areas. This draft plan presents management goals for the five critical habitat areas and their resources; it also identifies polices to be used in determining whether proposed activities are compatible with the protection of fish and wildlife, their habitats, and public use of the critical habitat areas. The goals and policies in the final plan will be adopted as regulation.
The plan addresses activities that may affect fish and wildlife habitat, fish and wildlife populations, and public use of those resources. The plan does not address hunting, trapping, and fishing, or other topics that are the responsibility of the Alaska Board of Game or the Alaska Board of Fisheries.
What's Happening Now
ADF&G is distributing copies of the second Public Review Draft (PRD) of the Bristol Bay Critical Habitat Areas Management Plan and requesting comments from the general public on this plan. The second PRD addresses comments received during the March 2010 public review and addresses management of private lands within the CHAs. The initial public draft plan only addressed management of state lands and waters. The current PRD addresses land use activities on private lands within the boundaries of the CHAs, in addition to state lands and waters. These public comments will be used in the development of the final management plan.
You may download a copy of the Public Review Draft of the Bristol Bay Critical Habitat Areas Management Plan using the links below.
- Public Comment Period Extended for Draft Management Plan (PDF 836 kB)
- Press release for Bristol Bay Critical Habitat Areas Management Plan (PDF 79 kB)
- Bristol Bay Critical Habitat Areas Management Plan Public Review Draft 4-12-11 (PDF 2,928 kB)
- Map 1: Overview (PDF 1,137 kB)
- Map 2: Egegik Land Status (PDF 1,412 kB)
- Map 3: Egegik Mammals (PDF 517 kB)
- Map 4: Egegik Bird, Fish, and Invertebrate (PDF 529 kB)
- Map 5: Egegik Geese (PDF 595 kB)
- Map 6: Egegik Emperor Geese (PDF 412 kB)
- Map 7: Egegik Steller’s Eider (PDF 407 kB)
- Map 8: Egegik Ducks (PDF 544 kB)
- Map 9: Pilot Point Land Status (PDF 2,665 kB)
- Map 10: Pilot Point Mammals (PDF 1,060 kB)
- Map 11: Pilot Point Bird, Fish, and Invertebrate (PDF 1,092 kB)
- Map 12: Pilot Point Geese (PDF 1,196 kB)
- Map 13: Pilot Point Emperor Geese (PDF 967 kB)
- Map 14: Pilot Point Steller’s Eider (PDF 961 kB)
- Map 15: Pilot Point Ducks (PDF 1,420 kB)
- Map 16: Cinder River Land Status (PDF 1,926 kB)
- Map 17: Cinder River Mammals (PDF 845 kB)
- Map 18: Cinder River Bird, Fish, and Invertebrates (PDF 818 kB)
- Map 19: Cinder River Geese (PDF 869 kB)
- Map 20: Cinder River Emperor Geese (PDF 740 kB)
- Map 21: Cinder River Steller’s Eiders (PDF 701 kB)
- Map 22: Cinder River Ducks (PDF 926 kB)
- Map 23: Port Heiden Land Status (PDF 2,171 kB)
- Map 24: Port Heiden Mammals (PDF 981 kB)
- Map 25: Port Heiden Bird, Fish, and Invertebrate (PDF 879 kB)
- Map 26: Port Heiden Geese (PDF 895 kB)
- Map 27: Port Heiden Emperor Geese (PDF 827 kB)
- Map 28: Port Heiden Steller’s Eider (PDF 793 kB)
- Map 29: Port Heiden Ducks (PDF 1,137 kB)
- Map 30: Port Moller Land Status (PDF 2,663 kB)
- Map 31: Port Moller Mammals (PDF 1,259 kB)
- Map 32: Port Moller Bird, Fish, and Invertebrate (PDF 1,354 kB)
- Map 33: Port Moller Emperor Geese (PDF 1,020 kB)
- Map 34: Port Moller Steller’s Eider (PDF 1,013 kB)
- Map 35: Port Moller Waterfowl (PDF 1,142 kB)
- Map 36: Egegik Region Subsistence Harvest Areas (PDF 1,545 kB)
- Map 37: Pilot Point Subsistence Harvest Areas (PDF 1,498 kB)
- Map 38: Ugashik Region Subsistence Harvest Areas (PDF 1,479 kB)
- Map 39: Port Heiden Region Subsistence Harvest Areas (PDF 2,635 kB)
- Map 40: Nelson Lagoon Region Subsistence Harvest Areas (PDF 1,195 kB)
Hard copies of the Public Review draft will be available from ADF&G offices in Anchorage, Kodiak, and King Salmon as well as from local public libraries in Egegik, Pilot Point, Port Heiden, and Nelson Lagoon.
The draft plan is available for public review and comment through August 12, 2011.
You may submit written comments to
Bristol Bay Critical CHA Management Plan
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518-1565
The Management Planning Process
The department began by holding public scoping meetings to better identify the issues that should be addressed by the plan. We held meetings in five local communities during 2008: Egegik, November 5;Pilot Point, November 6; King Salmon, November 7; Port Heiden, November 12; and Nelson Lagoon, November 13. In addition, ADF&G staff held a meeting in Anchorage on November 18. We prepared draft maps depicting critical habitat area boundaries, fish and wildlife and their habitats, and land ownership and made them available at the meetings.
After public scoping, we formed a planning team, representing federal, state, and local agency representatives with responsibilities on critical habitat area lands. The team developed the draft management plan based on:
- the issues identified at the public meetings,
- critical habitat area resource values,
- the purpose for which the areas were established, and
- additional guidance provided in law.
The public review draft of the management plan includes a summary of the public meetings and an analysis of management issues and policies to address those issues. The plan also includes management goals for the CHAs and their resources, and presents policies to be used in determining what types of activities are compatible with the purposes for which the CHAs were established.
We conducted a public review of the draft management plan in March 2010. Since that time, ADF&G and the planning team have revised draft goals and policies to address land use activities on private lands in accordance with Alaska Statute 16.20.520-530. Prior to the development of a second Public Review Draft Plan, we contacted potentially affected private landowners requesting participation in the planning process. The private landowners included the four village corporations owning the surface estate and two regional corporations owning the subsurface estate. In addition, we solicited input from approximately 16 native allottees owning land within the boundaries of the CHAs.
The department will develop the final management plan based on comments received during the public review process. The Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will adopt the final plan, and the goals and revised policies will be codified pursuant to the Alaska Administrative Procedures Act.
For more information on the planning process, please contact the Habitat Section at (907) 267-2342.