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Potential survey could fill gaps in Fish and Games’s datasets

Fall tundra in Nome. Photo: Margaret DeMaioribus, KNOM.
Fall tundra in Nome. Photo: Margaret DeMaioribus, KNOM.

January 8, 2024

Ava White, News Reporter

Governor Mike Dunleavy’s $10.5 billion budget announced in December includes a request for the Department of Fish and Game to perform a comprehensive subsistence survey in Nome. 

The one-time project requesting $350,000, would fill a data gap in Fish and Game’s statewide subsistence dataset, called the “Subsistence Section”. The data provides information on the use of fish and wildlife resources around the state.

The data currently covers about 80% of Alaska’s communities outside of non-subsistence use areas. 

Caroline Brown is the statewide research director for the department. She said Nome is a priority for the survey because it’s a hub community.

“Hub communities are actually really important places for us to have a good idea of what subsistence harvests and patterns look like, given that they are related to their neighboring communities.”

Brown said researchers will survey a random sample of households and expects staff will visit a few hundred houses in Nome. 

She said surveys like this are expensive. The money requested by the governor would cover research, resources for statistical data and travel expenses. If funded, research teams would travel to Nome in 2025 to collect data and compile it into a publicly available report by Summer 2026, according to the report

Photo at top: Fall tundra in Nome. (Margaret DeMaioribus, KNOM)

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