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Chena River juvenile Chinook Salmon outmigration timing from significant rearing areas.


July 2018 - December 2020


Since 2001, Chinook Salmon returning to the Yukon River drainage have been designated as a stock of concern by the Alaska Board of Fisheries, and the Chena River supports one of the largest spawning stocks in the Alaskan portion of the Yukon River drainage. The Chena River juvenile Chinook Salmon study will provide a method to estimate the outmigration timing and magnitude of smolt production from several rearing areas on a highly utilized stock. These estimates will lead to a mark-recapture study design that generates accurate and precise estimates of smolt abundance and marine survival that can improve the stock assessment models that are used to establish sustainable escapement goals. This study is a collaboration between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Department of Fish and Game. This sampling design will generate accurate and precise estimates of timing into and out of the rearing areas as well as relative overwinter survival. These improved models will aid managers when making decisions about the Yukon River’s important subsistence, commercial, and sport fisheries. The project will also identify and characterize important fall rearing areas for juvenile Chinook Salmon. All components of this study are identified by the Yukon River Panel as information needs/actions. In addition, the ADF&G Chinook Salmon Initiative has identified juvenile Chinook Salmon information as an information gap for the Yukon River and the Chena River is one of the largest contributors to this stock.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 4

Phd Students: 4

Post Docs: 2

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 28

Scientific Publications: 112

Presentations: 178



Funding Agencies

  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Alaska Department of Fish and Game
  2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  3. U.S. Geological Survey
  4. University of Alaska Fairbanks
  5. Wildlife Management Institute