My time as Wildlife Resource Manager has given me a taste of the multi faceted and complex world of fisheries work and wildlife management. This summer I had the opportunity to assist on a number of Chinook salmon enhancement projects ranging from breeding and fry release from the hatchery to tagging and carcass surveys during their annual migration. The Chinook Salmon has been a culturally significant species in Yukon for generations. It’s decline in recent years has been the product of a number of external factors ranging from climate change, fisheries pressures, the proliferation of disease and parasites and human disturbance along it’s 3000 km migration to it’s natal grounds. In order to effectively manage this important resource, ongoing research and population enhancement efforts are needed to understand the magnitude of these external factors and shape future management decisions.
Apart from my Chinook work, I have assisted with the breeding and stocking of fresh water fish for the Yukon Stocked Lakes program. The Stocked Lakes provide Yukoners with recreation and angling opportunities across 18 pot hole lakes and help lessen the pressure on native species in our larger lakes and freshwater systems. As of this summer I have introduced a new video series promoting these lakes, starting with a local favourite, the Hidden Lakes adjacent near the foot hills of Grey Mountain. I hope this series continues down the road and that youth, families and anglers of all skill level can learn more about the stocked lakes and access them as part of their summer or fall adventures.
During my time at YFGA I have also been given the opportunity to review wildlife harvest data and reports and gain a better grasp of the complexities that lie within managing Yukon’s big game species such as moose, bears and bison. By examining government data, First Nations reports and observations from local hunters and outdoor users, future management decisions are more transparent and collaborative.
This position also offered ample communications experience including updating our website and social media channels, correspondence and collaboration with fellow NGOs and local First Nations, an online photo contest and program planning.
I am very grateful for my time as Wildlife Resource Manager and would like to wish my successor a rewarding position filled with similar opportunities to develop and enhance field and communication skills.
Kind Regards, Brandon Crawford