Thursday May 23, 2024

NOAA Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Habitat Conservation is investing in the long-term survival of one of the world’s most prized fish: Alaska’s Copper River salmon. With gourmet chefs paying upwards of $90 per pound for the flavorful fish, Copper River salmon play a crucial role in the region’s economy. The salmon support a $20 million commercial fishing industry and provide millions more to local communities through related jobs. The fish are also the lifeblood of Alaska Natives, who rely on subsistence fishing to feed their families and maintain their ancestral traditions. 

However, Copper River salmon numbers are declining. NOAA and its partners are addressing a significant threat to the fish by removing barriers that block access to spawning grounds and cold-water rearing habitat for juveniles.

In 2023, the Copper River Watershed Project completed a NOAA-funded project that opened up more than 70 stream miles to migratory salmon. 

This summer, the Project will work with The Eyak Corporation, an Alaska Native village corporation, to break ground on new fish passage projects. The $4.3 million in funding for these efforts comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. 

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