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Alaska Salmon Research Task Force

Information and updates on the task force activities.

School of adult chinook salmon Spring Chinook Salmon. Credit: Michael Humling, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

In response to unprecedented declines in chum and Chinook salmon on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, the Alaska Salmon Task Force was created by an act of Congress. It requires the Secretary of Commerce to convene an Alaska Salmon Research Task Force within 90 days of the Act’s passage, or by March 29, 2023. 

Task Force Purpose and Objectives

The task force must review and report on research about Pacific salmon in Alaska, identify applied research needed to better understand salmon migration and declining salmon returns in some regions of Alaska, and support sustainable management of salmon.

The purposes of the Act are to:

  1. Ensure that Pacific salmon trends in Alaska regarding productivity and abundance are characterized and that research needs are identified
  2. Prioritize scientific research needs for Pacific salmon in Alaska
  3. Address the increased variability or decline in Pacific salmon returns in Alaska by creating a coordinated salmon research strategy
  4. Support collaboration and coordination for Pacific salmon conservation efforts in Alaska

Task Force Membership 

As specified in the legislation, the Task Force will consist of 13 to 19 members.

The Secretary of Commerce will appoint a representative NOAA, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and the United States section of the Pacific Salmon Commission. The Secretary will also appoint between two and five representatives from each of the following categories, with due regard to differences in regional perspectives and experience:

  • Residents of Alaska who possess personal knowledge of, and direct experience with, subsistence uses in rural Alaska (at least two representatives)
  • Alaska fishing industry representatives throughout the salmon supply chain, including from directed commercial fishing, recreational fishing, charter fishing, seafood processors, salmon prohibited species catch (bycatch) users, or hatcheries

The Secretary will appoint five representatives who are academic experts in salmon biology, salmon ecology (marine and freshwater), salmon habitat restoration and conservation, or comprehensive marine research planning in the North Pacific.

The Governor of Alaska will appoint one representative from the State of Alaska who is knowledgeable about the State of Alaska’s salmon research efforts.

Nomination Criteria

When submitting a nomination for either yourself or someone else please provide the following:

Nominee name and contact information (email, phone and mailing address) and a brief description of the nominee’s knowledge and relevant experience in relation to Alaska salmon. This could include, but is not limited to, formal and informal education, jobs and responsibilities, publications, affiliations and local and Indigenous Knowledge.

Please include any specifics regarding the nominee’s personal knowledge of, and direct experience with, salmon via

  • subsistence uses in rural Alaska,
  • directed salmon commercial, recreational and charter fishing,
  • seafood processing,
  • species bycatch,
  • hatcheries,
  • salmon biology,
  • salmon ecology (marine and freshwater),
  • salmon habitat restoration and conservation, and
  • comprehensive marine research planning in the North Pacific.

Please submit nominations via email to Ed Farley c/o

Task Force Workplan

Thirty days after convening the larger body, the task force will also form a work group focused on the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim regions of Western Alaska consisting of no fewer than five representatives. 

After 1 year, the task force will produce a report that describes the scientific review and recommendations on filling knowledge gaps that warrant further scientific inquiry.

NOAA Fisheries’ Alaska Fisheries Science Center is providing organizational and staff support for the Task Force.

February 2023 Solicit nominations for Task Force
March 2023 Solicit nominations for Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim, Western Alaska, and any other subgroups
March 2023 Hold virtual kick-off meeting
April 2023 Work groups formed and begin tasks
June 2023 Hold virtual or in-person work meeting in Juneau or Anchorage
September 2023 Hold virtual work meeting
December 2023

Hold virtual or in-person work meeting in Juneau or Anchorage

Work group reports to Research Task Force due

January 2024 Send draft report out for review
March 2024 Submit final report to NOAA and Congress


Last updated by Alaska Fisheries Science Center on March 27, 2023