Tanada Creek Fish Weir
This creek is also significant due to its association with the Batzulnetas subsistence fishery. Batzulnetas is the Ahtna name for the traditional fishing site on Tanada Creek that has been used by the Ahtna people for more than 1000 years. Descendants of earlier inhabitants, who now live in two native villages in the area, still utilize its resources for cultural education purposes including subsistence fishing. The Batzulnetas fishery was the subject of lawsuits from 1985 to 2000 as Ahtna elders Katie John and Doris Charles, and others attempted to reestablish their traditional subsistence fishery. The “Katie John Decision” resulted in the expansion of Federal management of fisheries in waters under Federal jurisdiction throughout Alaska.
The weir site is about 16 km southeast of the town of Slana and 160 meters downstream from the Batzulnetas fish camp. A weir is a barrier set across a stream that blocks the passage of fish but allows water to pass. The weir panels are made of evenly spaced tubular pickets extending across the entire channel. A chute or live trap is placed at an opening in this barrier and forms a narrow passage through which the fish can migrate upstream. An observer stationed on the live box can identify and count the passing fish. Water temperature and depth are also recorded daily. The floating design of the current weir performs well in the dynamic Tanada Creek system. It requires minimal maintenance once installed, and during flood events debris can pass over the flexible weir.
Long Lake Fish Weir
32 Years of Salmon Counts!
Did You Know?
Caribou are the only member of the deer family in which both the males and females grow antlers. In Alaska, caribou outnumber people.