Salmon (T’á) is an important resource for Teslin Tlingit Citizens, being both culturally significant and important for subsistence. Through the Lands and Resources Department, Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC) has been proactive in the management of salmon for over a decade.
With over a 3000 km long journey for salmon from the Bering Sea to Teslin Lake (see Yukon River Map (PDF)), salmon management for TTC is not only challenging, but also requires collaboration at the international, national and territorial level. Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC) works with the Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee and the federal Department of Fisheries & Oceans to co-manage the Yukon River Chinook salmon population, and is currently working on an international campaign. For more information, see TTC’s 2014 General Council Resolution #10 , regarding Chinook salmon fishing limitations.
TTC has taken a proactive approach to salmon management and has implemented conservation measures for over 12 years to respond to the rapid decrease in salmon population. Recently, conservation measures have become more stringent in order to respond to this crisis. In 2009, fishing was restricted to weekends and the year’s total harvest was set at 225 fish. There was a complete conservation closure in 2010, and in 2011 there was a five-day conservation closure. Salmon remains important culturally, and each summer Taku River salmon is shipped into Teslin via floatplane.
Community Salmon Management Plan
In close cooperation with Teslin Tlingit salmon harvesters, the Lands and Resources Department is developing a salmon management plan. The plan seeks to assist and enhance the recovery of local salmon stocks and to meet some of the subsistence harvest and culture needs of the community.
The Teslin Tlingit Council Community Salmon Management Plan is being developed to provide guiding principles and flexibility in establishing fishing limits based on the most accurate numbers. This plan will assist managers and leadership in managing salmon for the community.