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August 14, 2020

Dakwäkäda (Haines Junction) – Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) is announcing the immediate closure of two subsistence fisheries for the remainder of the 2020 season:

  • All salmon species at Village Creek (Neskataheen); and
  • Chinook salmon in all tributaries of the Yukon River within the CAFN Traditional Territory, including the Takhini River.

“We are concerned about declining salmon stocks and the impact on our ability to engage in traditional harvesting, cultural practices, seasonal gathering, and ability to eat our traditional foods,” said Dän Nätthe Äda (Acting Chief) Rose Kushniruk. “Our government and Citizens recognize that immediate action is required to protect the salmon, and we will continue to work with our dän (people) toward the recovery of the salmon population.”

Due to ongoing concerns over low returns of gyü (Chinook) and sambay (Sockeye) salmon, CAFN is closing the fishery at Village Creek, which is part of the Alsek and Tatshenshini River system.  This is the third year that CAFN Citizens have passed General Assembly resolutions asking the CAFN government to close fishing in the (Neskataheen) Village Creek area.  CAFN government and dän (people) will continue to work with other governments and people on plans to rebuild and protect the salmon for future generations.

As of August 11, Fisheries and Oceans Canada reported that 40 sockeye salmon have reached Village Creek to spawn.  The run is far below normal, as an average of 584 sockeye would usually have reached Village Creek by now.

CAFN’s supports the Yukon-Salmon Sub-Committee’s (YSSC) call for immediate action to conserve the Chinook salmon in the Yukon River and its tributaries, so is also closing Chinook fishing on all Yukon River tributaries in our Traditional Territory.  The YSSC was formed under our Final Agreement and includes representatives of CAFN.  For more information, please visit: yssc.ca.

These emergency closures are for conservation purposes for the duration of the 2020 season.  These fisheries are also closed to visitors and CAFN will not issue any visitor licenses for these areas.


For more information:

Amy McKinnon
Strategic Communications Manager
867 332 1973


Jenna Henderson
Communications Officer
867 334 6264