2013 Subsistence Fishing Update

The 2013 fishing season will be met with many closures and strict regulations in order to protect the Yukon Chinook salmon.

The following information describes the anticipated management strategies by ADFG for the 2013 season:

  • The District 1 subsistence salmon fishing schedule began May 30th and will be implemented chronologically with the upriver migration.
  • Gillnets will be restricted to 6-inch maximum mesh size, once the schedule is initiated, in each district including the Coastal District and the Innoko and Koyukuk Rivers.
  • Subsistence fishing on the first pulse of Chinook salmon is closed. Based on the poor preseason projection, it is likely the closure will be initiated in District 1 and similarly implemented in upriver fishing districts and sub districts based on migratory timing. After the closure, fishing time may be reduced to further conserve Chinook salmon.
  • The Tanana River will be managed to meet Chinook salmon escapement goals for the Chena and Salcha rivers. To improve escapement into the Chena River, a subsistence fishing period will be closed for approximately 5 days and implemented based on in season assessment and run timing information. Gillnets will likely be restricted to 6-inch maximum mesh size on July 1st.
    • (EX: A Family that normally harvests 40 Chinook salmon should consider only taking 10 this year.)
  • Fisherman are strongly encouraged to voluntarily reduce Chinook salmon harvest to not exceed 25% of their average annual harvest to help ensure adequate escapement.
  • The sport fishery for Chinook salmon will be closed in the mainstream Yukon River. In the Yukon River tributaries (excluding Tanana River drainage), retention of Chinook salmon will not be permitted in June.
  • The Tanana River drainage sport fisheries will be closed to Chinook salmon retention (restricted to catch-and-release). Sport fishing opportunities may be further restricted or liberalized based on in season run assessments from the Chena and Salcha Rivers.
  • New commercial gear options available in the Lower Yukon including dip nets, beach seines, and 5.5-inch mesh size gillnets (30 meshes deep) will be employed early in the summer chum salmon directed commercial season to reduce the incidental harvest of Chinook salmon. Later in the season, gillnets with 6-inch maximum mesh size will be utilized when the rate of incidental harvested is expected to be low.
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TCC Hosts 30th Annual Rural Providers Conference

Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) and the Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RurAL CAP) sponsored this year’s 30th Annual Rural Provider’s Conference (RPC) in Fairbanks. RPC gathers substance abuse service providers and other community members from throughout the state to address the ongoing issues of alcohol and substance abuse, while learning how to promote health and healing through traditional Alaska Native practices and modern treatment methods.

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TCC Assists with Yukon River Flood Relief

TCC holds an Emergency Response Flood Meeting in Fairbanks

TCC holds an Emergency Response Flood Meeting in Fairbanks

This year several communties within the Tanana Chiefs Conference region experienced flooding including; Eagle, Circle, Fort Yukon, Beaver, Steven’s Village, and Galena. Galena suffered the worst flooding, with almost the entire community having to be evacuated after the mighty Yukon River swept water and massive ice chunks into the village.

In April, before any flooding had occured in the region, TCC’s Emergency Response Team was already working on giving communities the information they needed to prepare their community for a potential flood. The Emergency Response Team, consisting of various employees from different departments throughout the organization, was recently formed to address the needs of the tribes during disaster situations.

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Grand opening of the Alice Moses Health Clinic

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TCC Health Director Victor Joseph stand with the three daughters of Alice Moses, Shirley, Carol, and Edith, as they hold up photos of their late mother.

On May 17th, the community of Chalkyitsik celebrated the grand opening of the new Alice Moses Health Clinic. The clinic, which was funded by the Denali Commission, Indian Health Services, and Tanana Chief Conference, was a much needed change for the people of Chalkyitsik

“At the old clinic it was difficult for people to get up the wheelchair ramp because it is so steep,” said Chalkyitsik First Chief Stephanie Herbert.

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TCC Celebrates the Grand Opening of the Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center

IMG_0526The Chief Andrew Isaac Health Center in Fairbanks officially celebrated its Grand Opening on March 14th, 2013 during TCC’s Annual Convention. Hundreds of people including tribal members, TCC staff, the TCC Executive Board Members and Senior Management attended the event. TCC President Jerry Isaac and Health Services Director Victor Joseph spoke at the event, as well as Health Board Member Andrew Jimmie, ANTHC CEO Roald Helgesen, ANHB Chair Lincoln Bean, Sr., Southcentral Foundation Director Charles Akers, and IHS Alaska Director Chris Mandregan.

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What to expect for the 2013 Fishing Season

It is expected that the 2013 fishing season will be met with many closures and strict regulations in order to protect the Yukon Chinook salmon. Sub-districts Y1 and Y2 the Chinook salmon season will be closed during the first pulse of Chinook salmon. Sub-districts Y3 to Y6 the Chinook salmon season will open and closed by Emergency Order. There will be a six inch mesh gill net restriction when Chinook salmon are seen in specific sub-districts of the Yukon River drainage. When all Chinook salmon conservation measures have been met and more or less past the Lower and Middle Yukon then there may be some commercial openings of chum salmon. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game have a few more options to figure out still before finalizing their informational Outlook/Flier that will be distributed to the public via mail sometime in late April or Early May. The Department of Fish and Game is asking for a voluntary subsistence restriction of 25% by Interior Yukon River fishermen during the Chinook salmon run, see Conservation actions the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are considering listed below.

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Dinosaurs in the TCC Region

Not really, but footprints of dinosaurs are now known from early rocks along the middle Yukon region between Ruby and Kaltag. TCC Realty was recently approached by Dr. Patrick Druckenmiller of the UA Museum of the North who discovered dinosaur footprints along the banks of the river during a casual float trip last summer.

Beach coming in the mean-high-water mark in areas mapped in geological reports as Cretaceous aged sediments, Druckenmiller found more than he ever imagined. His trip was not planned as a formal scientific expedition, but experience working with dinosaur discoveries in other parts of Alaska suggested similar remains could be found in the area. Read More

Healthy, Strong, Unified Tribes: TCC’s 2013 Convention

IMG_1047Tanana Chiefs Conference’s 2013 Annual Delegate and Full Board of Director’s Meeting took place from March 11th to the 14th at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks. The convention emphasized the theme ‘Health, Strong Unified Tribes’ which was recently adopted by the Executive Board as TCC’s new vision statement.

“TCC new vision represents what we at TCC strive to bring to our tribes,” said TCC President Jerry Isaac, “At convention we made sure to present topics that are relevant to the tribes and that represent their main concerns. We also made sure to provide the opportunity for input and discussion.”

The meeting covered many topics of concern to the tribes including; hunting and fishing rights/subsistence, housing, employment, energy, and health.

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Spring Flood Planning

5.8.08 flyoverSpring is in the air, and breakup is just around the corner. Spring flood planning and work can begin now to save you time and worry later. Tanana Chiefs Conference’ Office of Environmental Health (OEH) offers these tips to help you get ready for possible flooding:

A MONTH BEFORE BREAKUP: 

  • Find the high points around your property and other parts of the village where you can move items above flood level if needed.
  • Make a list of any equipment (generators, snow machines, and chainsaws) that will need to be moved to higher ground during a flood.
  • Locate any fuel storage that will need to be secured during a flood.
  • Start putting together an emergency kit of items needed if you must leave your home.
  • Ask your Tribal or City Administrator about the community flood preparations.  This may include a local area to evacuate to, designated people to observe the river level and alert the community.
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Strategies for our Future: TCC implements new strategic plan to address the concerns of the tribes

IMG_9119In the first part of 2012, the Tanana Chiefs Conference Executive Board launched a multi-year planning process that included in-depth discussion of how to achieve vibrant, sustainable communities. In turning the tide of out-migration, village needs were identified including education, protection of our food resources, employment and training, and care for our elders-to name a few. It was recognized that addressing the many needs must be done in partnership of many including tribes, state and federal agencies, and other stakeholder organizations.

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