Using participatory modeling to empower community engagement in salmon science

Our group has synthesized ideas for monitoring salmon populations and the fisheries that depend upon them. We are modelers, salmon population dynamics experts, Community-Based Monitoring practitioners, and regional stakeholders from the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) region of Alaska, home to the largest subsistence salmon fisheries in the world.

The role of trust is central to successful implementation of fisheries management decisions in Western Alaska.

A Kuskokwim River citizen-science effort is ongoing, with the goal to empower communities to collect their own information and provide it to tribal, state, and federal managers. This two-way exchange of information is intended to build mutual respect and trust, leading to better, and less controversial decisions.

Image: Avery Hoffman, Orutsararmiut Native Council Summer Youth Representative, conducts harvest surveys at Bethel area fish camps and attempts to recruit local fishermen to participate in the Chinook Salmon Age-Sex-Length Sampling Program (Jessica 

Discover what we’ve learned

Working Group Members

Principal Investigator

Michael L. Jones

Principal Investigator
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Quantitative Fisheries Center, Michigan State University

In his position with the Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management (PERM), Michael’s research focuses on fish population dynamics and ecology, resource management, and simulation modeling. He is especially interested in how Structured Decision Making methods can lead to better management outcomes, especially when they involve stakeholder engagement.

Key Modelers

Sam Truesdell

Quantitative Fisheries Center

Brendan Connors

ESSA Technologies Ltd.

Lewis Coggins

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Matthew Catalano

Auburn University, School of Fisheries

Ben Staton

Auburn University, School of Fisheries

Steve Fleischman

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Team Members

Joe Spaeder

AYK Sustainable Salmon Initiative

Daniel Schindler

University of Washington

Milo Adkison

University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Oceans

Bill Bechtol

Bechtol Research

Janessa Esquible

Orutsararmiut Native Council

Zach Liller

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Nick Smith

Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Stephanie Quinn-Davidson

Yukon River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

Lamont Albertson

Kuskokwim River Salmon Management Working Group

Greg Roscicza

Orutsaramiut Native Council

Nick Kameroff

Kuskokwim River Intertribal Fish Commission

Kevin Whitworth

Up-River Stakeholder

Laura Loucks

Clayoquot Biosphere Trust

Other Links of Interest


How A Massive Dataset and A Set of Rural Communities Are Helping to Sustain Alaska’s Salmon: Podcast: Alaska’s Exceptional Salmon Data