Salmon Monitoring in Southwest Alaska
Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) are critical to the cultural, economic, and ecological integrity of the Bristol Bay region in Alaska. Sockeye salmon have sustained people living in the region and provided for the majority of their subsistence diet for centuries. In addition to the sockeye caught by local residents, the Bristol Bay commercial fleet harvests around 20 million sockeye salmon annually valued at more than $100 million, making it the world’s largest and most valuable commercial sockeye fishery. Ecologically, sockeye salmon returning from the sea provide energy and nutrients vital to the freshwater ecosystems in which they spawn, as well as the neighboring riparian and terrestrial ecosystems.