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Federal Subsistence Board Recognizes the Customary and Traditional Uses of All Fish Species in the Kenai River by Residents of Ninilchik


The Federal Subsistence Board met November 9 in Anchorage to reconsider a
proposal (FP09-07) submitted by the Ninilchik Traditional Council to
recognize the customary and traditional uses of all fish species in the
Kenai River Area by residents of Ninilchik. The Board voted to adopt the
proposal as submitted. The Kenai River Area includes the Kenai River
Peninsula District waters north of and including the Kenai River drainage
within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and the Chugach National Forest.
The new regulation should be in effect by April 1, 2011. Once in effect,
residents of Ninilchik will be eligible to harvest all fish species under
Federal subsistence regulations in the Federal waters of the Kenai River
Area. While Ninilchik residents will be eligible to harvest all fish
species, there are currently no open seasons for grayling and burbot under
Federal regulations.

The Federal Subsistence Board had previously recognized the customary and
traditional uses of salmon in the Kenai River Area and all fish in the
Kasilof River drainage by residents of Ninilchik. In 2008, the Ninilchik
Traditional Council submitted a proposal (FP09-07) to the Federal
Subsistence Board requesting that the Board expand the determination for
the Kenai River Area to include all fish. The Federal Subsistence Board did
not adopt the proposal at its January 14, 2009 meeting.

In addition to taking action on the customary and traditional use
determination, the Federal Subsistence Board was briefed by U.S. Fish and
Wildlife law enforcement about an ongoing investigation over alleged
customary trade violations by some Federal subsistence users of the Yukon
and Copper River areas. The Board was also briefed on the process that was
used to make rural determinations following the 2000 Census. The Federal
Subsistence Board will be taking up a review of the rural determinations
for the Federal Subsistence Management Program following the release of the
2010 Census data.

Additional information on the Federal Subsistence Management Program can be
found at http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/home.html.
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