Native American Trust Responsibilites
The Fisheries Program in the Southwest Region views our obligations to Native Americans as one of our highest priorities. Our responsibility is to support work in inventorying and assessing tribal resources where requested and supporting tribal resource conservation.
There are 84 Indian tribes within the Southwest Region; during any given year, approximately 25 tribes request assistance. Most of them have requested the Service to provide technical assistance in the management of their natural resources. Many, upon the advice of the Service, have developed recreational fisheries as a source of additional income. Tribes are confronted with such issues as threatened and endangered species management, recreational fisheries, habitat restoration, aquatic nuisance species, and fish passage problems, for which technical assistance is given. They also require hatchery fish in order to operate recreational fishing lakes which they depend on economically.
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Arizona FWCO Assists with Tribal Sportfish Management
Biologists from the Arizona FWCO assisted our Tribal partners with lake electrofishing surveys on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation and Navajo Nation. The surveys are conducted every spring and summer to analyze the sportfishing communities at several lakes in Arizona. In addition, Arizona FWCO loaned our electrofishing boat for use in similar surveys in New Mexico, and both offices follow existing protocols to ensure that aquatic organisms are not transported between lakes in the two states.