Neva Fish Weir goes in. Here come the Sockeye!

Sockeye passing through the Neva Lake weir chute.

HIA and the Forest Service conducted the annual installation of the fish weir at Neva Lake earlier this month. This project has been running in partnership since 2002, collecting important information on the health and status of one of Hoonah’s main sources of Sockeye salmon.

As they head upstream, fish are funneled through a chute with two video cameras, where they can be identified by size and species, as well as the date and time of their passing. The data obtained is critical in the management process, which can be used not just to increase regulation, but in protecting our local access and arguing for more harvest opportunity, by monitoring changes in runtime etc. This project has also provided consistent seasonal employment for Hoonah and is the basis for a proposed project we have submitted for fish monitoring at Hoktaheen.

Gerard White Sr tests the camera before putting the fish chute into place.

This year, with the addition of Starlink, we hope to share more footage throughout the season, with the future possibility of live streaming and even involving the community in identifying and counting as the fish come in. Currently video and images are recorded 24/7 and then sent to the HIA office every morning for daily review. The weir will operate continuously into October when it will then be tucked away for the winter.

With several cameras within the weir and above the installations, all sorts of wildlife action is recorded! Here an otter passes through the chute, heading upstream:

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