Mountain Reflection on Eyak LakeWhen the Alaska Coastal Policy Council recommended that Eyak Lake be designated an “Area Meriting Special Attention”, a cooperative plan was commissioned by Professional Fishery Consultants. Authors Dick Groff and Ralph Pirtle compiled four years of data into the 1985 Cooperative Management Plan that drew out the AMSA boundaries and targeted bathemetry, lake bottom and vegetation, topography, and studies of the wildlife habitat.

 

The goal of this plan was to develop objectives, policies, and actions:

  1. maintain and/or improve water quality of Eyak Lake
  2. maintain and/or improve the fishery production of Eyak Lake
  3. maintain and/or improve the wildlife habitat values associate with Eyak Lake
  4. accommodate existing and appropriate future residental, commerical, and facilities developement within the planning area
  5. develop and maintain recreational opportunites and maintain the scenic values.

Ten species were found in the lake include:

  • Humpback Whitefish
  • Prickly Sculpin
  • Stickleback
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Coho Salmon
  • Pink Salmon
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Dolly Varden
  • Eulachon

Eyak Lake Habitat & Water Quality MapSockeye and coho are the most abundant salmon found in the lake. From 1961 to 1981, aerial surveys showed a range from 463 to 28,366 sockeye spawners and 150 to 9,200 coho spawners in Eyak Lake. Pinks came in smaller numbers into the tributaries to Eyak Lake. Although five million chinook eggs were buried in Power Creek in 1921, rarely is a king found in Eyak Lake today.

Professional Fishery Consultants conducted salmon studies in 1981 and 1982. The results for sockeye showed that 16% of spawners used Hatchery Creek and Power Creek, 8% used stream deltas, and the remaining 76% used gravel beaches along the shoreline, adjacent to inflowing streams. Sockeye rearing was primarily offshore in Eyak Lake, where zoo planton is more plentiful.

Coho spawners were found in Hatchery Creek and Power Creek. They rear primarily in creeks and along the shoreline of Eyak Lake. Juvenile diets consisted of insects and snails.

CRWP, along with the Prince William Sound Science Center, ADF&G, and the Prince William Sound Keeper, have begun efforts to update this survey of spawning, rearing, and overwintering habitats. Our goals are to enhance Eyak Lake’s productivity and create awareness of habitat sensitivity when using the lake.

Click here to download the complete 1985 Eyak Lake AMSA Cooperative Report as a pdf.