Due to regulatory and statutory changes, which took effect July 1, 2008, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is now solely responsible for maintaining anadromous waters data as well as revision to and publication of the Catalog of Waters Important for the Spawning, Rearing or Migration of Anadromous Fishes and its associated Atlas (the Catalog and Atlas, respectively). The ADF&G is now also responsible for regulatory adoption of the Atlas and Catalog.
The Catalog of Waters Important for the Spawning, Rearing or Migration of Anadromous Fishes and its associated Atlas (the Catalog and Atlas, respectively) currently lists almost 20,000 streams, rivers or lakes around the state which have been specified as being important for the spawning, rearing or migration of anadromous fish. However, based upon thorough surveys of a few drainages it is believed that this number represents a fraction of the streams, rivers, and lakes actually used by anadromous species. Until these habitats are inventoried, they will not be protected under State of Alaska law.
The Catalog and Atlas are important because they specify which streams, rivers and lakes are important to anadromous fish species and therefore afforded protection under AS 16.05.871. Water bodies that are not "specified" within the Catalog and Atlas are not afforded that protection. To be protected under AS 16.05.871, water bodies must be documented as supporting some life function of an anadromous fish species (salmon, trout, char, whitefish, sturgeon, etc.) Anadromous fish must have been seen or collected and identified by a qualified observer. Most nominations come from Department of Fish and Game fisheries biologists. Others are received from private individuals, companies and biologists from other state and federal agencies. If you would like to request a change to the Catalog and Atlas you can download the nomination form.
If you would like more information concerning the Catalog and Atlas, or have questions about the nomination process, please contact J Johnson, Habitat Biologist, Alaska Department of Fish and Game.