Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Alaska Region of the U. S. Forest Service has completed a study that looks at how the national forests in Alaska contribute to the commercial catch of salmon.
The study concluded that the forests contribute an average of 48 million salmon a year with an average value of $88 Million per year.
One of the authors, Dr. Di Johnson. who is a hydrologist with the Juneau Forestry Sciences Lab in Juneau, said on Action Line. "These forest fish represent 25 percent of Alaska's commercial salmon catch for the time period of the study. And this is 16 percent of the total commercial value."
Johnson said the Tongass accounted for about 40 point 2 million fish with a value of $68.6 Million while the Chugach contributed 7 point 7 million which had a value of $19.8 million
Co-Author Dr. Ryan Bellmore said there are other fish not born within the forest boundaries that still rely on the forest land. He said the Taku River south of Juneau is a good example. He said a lot of the Chinook caught in this region don't actually spawn on National Forest land, but many of the fish likely to spend time within the forest boundaries.
The study examined fish and game data and fish estimates from 2007 to 2016. It did not include sport or subsistence caught fish.