Bethel Area Subsistence Harvest Surveys
ONC and ADF&G have worked together over the past 20+ years to provide fishery managers with reliable subsistence harvest information. The program also provides a meaningful opportunity for subsistence users to share their perspectives about the annual salmon runs, harvest needs, and personal impacts of management decisions. Inseason information has been collected through a series of weekly interviews with fishing families present at fish camps in the Bethel Area. Interview questions were qualitative by design and provided some insight into salmon run timing, harvest timing, gear usage, and subsistence fishing success. The revised survey instrument used in 2017 provides information on harvest location, effort, and catch which would more adequately inform inseason models and management during years of low abundance. During years of average or high abundance when harvest is liberalized, the data will document weekly changes in subsistence catch and effort providing a quantitative description of traditional subsistence harvest. Survey results will be presented inseason to ADF&G and the Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group (KRSMWG). The KRSMWG is a public advisory group that holds meeting on a weekly basis in Bethel beginning in late May throughout the early part of August. Survey respondents and any other public members can attend the meeting or call into the line.
- Describe Bethel area subsistence users’ annual harvest goals for Chinook, chum and sockeye salmon, determine the relative change in harvest goals compared to the prior year, and monitor weekly progress towards achieving annual harvest goals.
- Document subsistence fishing activity in the Bethel area, including: when families begin subsistence fishing, weekly participation, catch per unit effort by gear type, and catch composition.