The Tagish River (Taagish Too’e/Taagish Héeni) Habitat Protection Area is a small but important part of the Yukon River system between Marsh Lake and Tagish Lake. It's sometimes called the “Six Mile” or “Tagish Narrows”. The Tagish River Habitat Protection Area covers a total area of 5 square kilometres.
The Tagish River is one of the most important and well-known areas for waterfowl staging and migration in the Yukon. It is 1 of 3 outlets of the large Southern Lakes system that are heavily used by swans, geese, ducks and many other waterfowl during spring. The Tagish River Habitat Protection Area is also home to moose, caribou, bear, beaver, muskrat, otter, mink, fox and wolf. Fish species found in the river include lake trout, northern pike, Arctic grayling, lake whitefish, round whitefish, pygmy whitefish, least cisco, inconnu, burbot, longnose sucker, slimy sculpin and lake chub.
The Tagish River has been and continues to be an important part of the homeland of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation. During land claims negotiations, Elders voiced the importance of this area both ecologically and culturally.
The management plan for the Tagish River Habitat Protection Area was developed as a joint effort between the Carcross/Tagish First Nation, the Government of Yukon and the Government of Canada.
The management plan provides management direction as laid out in Chapter 10 of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation Final Agreement.
- Establish a habitat protection area in the Tagish River area.
- Conserve nationally and locally important fish and wildlife and fish and wildlife habitat in the Habitat Protection Area for the benefit of all people.
- Recognize the traditional use of the area by the Carcross/Tagish First Nation.
- Recognize the current use of the area by the Carcross/Tagish First Nation. Carcross/Tagish People and other Yukon residents.
- Conserve the fully diversity of fish and wildlife populations and their habitats from activities that could reduce the capability of the area to support fish and wildlife.
- Recognize and honour the history, heritage and culture of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation in the Area through the establishment and operation of the Habitat Protection Area.
- Encourage public awareness, appreciation and enjoyment for the natural resources of the Habitat Protection Area.
- Recognize the Habitat Protection Area as a multi-use area including uses for recreation and for the storage, use and management of water for hydroelectric production for the benefit of all Yukon people.
- Provide a process to develop a management plan for the Habitat Protection Area.
- Provide economic opportunities to the Carcross/Tagish First Nation and people to participate in the development, operation and management of the Habitat Protection Area in the manner set out in Chapter 10, Schedule C of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation Final Agreement.
The Tagish River Habitat Protection Area Steering Committee completed the management plan. The Tagish River Habitat Protection Area Recommended Management Plan was signed by the parties on November 9.