Identifying Climate Vulnerabilities and Prioritizing Adaptation Strategies for Eulachon Populations in Southeast Alaska
Meredith Pochardt, Takshanuk Watershed Council
Hooligan (Eulachon or Saak), a small anadromous smelt species, have been a culturally significant subsistence species for the Tlingit people for generations. Declines in the southern distinct populations (SDP) located in California, Oregon and Washington and their eventual listing as Threatened in 2010 promoted the Chilkoot Indian Association (CIA) and the Takshanuk Watershed Council (TWC) to being a long-term population monitoring program in northern Southeast Alaska. Prior to these efforts that began in 2010 there was little to no hooligan population data for this region. The CIA and TWC began with a mark-recapture protocol on the Chilkoot river. In 2014 the CIA and TWC partnered with Oregon State University to integrate the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) as an alternative method to collect population data. In 2017 this research expanded to 8 additional rivers in northern Southeast Alaska. The goal is to determine the applicability of various population estimation methods and determine the most cost-effective method to gather data in remote locations.