Alaska Releases New Chinook Salmon Stock Assessment

State fisheries biologists have a new plan to gather
essential information to understand the root causes of widespread declines in
Chinook salmon stocks and track population trends into the future.
It’s the finalized Chinook Salmon Stock Assessment and
Research Plan, 2013.
The document is the result of collaboration by the Alaska
Department of Fish and Game with the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Sustainable Salmon
Initiative on similar planning efforts, and partnering with federal agencies
and academia. Other information came from input of stakeholders at the 2012
Chinook salmon Symposium in Anchorage, and independent peer review solicited
from three fisheries scientists familiar with Chinook salmon life history and
population dynamics.
ADF&G hopes to use this plan to guide its near-term
stock assessment and research efforts on Chinook salmon in Alaska. Their
central objective is to create a consistent stock assessment framework across a
diversity of indicator systems in Alaska that will provide improved information
for sustained yield management of Chinook salmon for a range of run sizes and
productivity regimes.
The core of the proposed plan is a stock-specific, life
history-based approach to research focused on 12 indicator stocks from around
Alaska, representing diverse life history and migratory characteristics across
a broad geographic range.
The 12 indicator stocks, from Southeast Alaska to the
Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim, are from the Unuk, Stikine, Taku, Chilkat, Copper,
Susitna, Kenai, Karluk, Chignik, Nushagak, Kuskokwim and Yukon rivers.
Recommended stock assessments include enumeration of adult
escapement and stock-specific harvest in all relevant fisheries, as well as
estimates of juvenile Chinook salmon abundance during the smolt stage.
The plan is available in its entirety online at