Identifying Climate Vulnerabilities and Prioritizing Adaptation Strategies for Eulachon Populations in the Chilkoot and Chilkat Rivers and the Application of Location Monitoring Systems
Eulachon, a small anadromous smelt, are a highly nutritious fish that are culturally significant to the Chilkat and Chilkoot peoples of the Tlingit Nation in Southeast Alaska. Tribal members are increasingly concerned about how climate change and related environmental stressors might affect future viability of eulachon and what types of management actions may be appropriate to help the species adapt to climate-induced environmental change. This project will complete a tribally-based climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan for eulachon that spawn in the Chilkoot and Chilkat rivers near Haines, Alaska. Local monitoring will collect data on spawning populations in the Chilkoot River, and a tribal stakeholder group will be convened to analyze climate change projections, apply traditional knowledge, rank climate vulnerabilities, and prioritize adaptation strategies. Information gleaned from this project will be of high interest to tribal entities throughout the region.