The eulachon is a small fish that is both highly nutritious and culturally significant to the Chilkat and Chilkoot peoples of the Tlingit Nation in Southeast Alaska, for whom it is a traditional food. Tribal members are increasingly concerned about how climate change might stress the health and abundance of eulachon populations, which are already perceived as being low. In order to successfully manage these fisheries in light of climate change, tribal communities need information about how euchalon are vulnerable and which management strategies will help the species adapt. For this project, researchers used climate projections, monitoring data, and traditional ecological knowledge to assess the climate change vulnerability of eulachon in the Chilkoot and Chilkat rivers near Haines, Alaska. A local working group of tribal experts and other stakeholders then identified and ranked where eulachon are most vulnerable and prioritized adaptation strategies for managers.
This project was jointly supported by the Northwest Climate Science Center, the Alaska Climate Science Center, and the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative.