Category: 2022

Salmon in the Schools

The Salmon in the Schools (SIS) program was piloted in 2017-18, delivered and refined in 2018-19, was
further enhanced for 2019-2020 and programming was reinforced through 2020-2021 and 2021/2022. We propose to sustain and maintain the programming and content in 2022-2023. Rivers to Ridges (R2R) will continue to enhance the classroom, public relations, partnership development, media relations and communications components of the program.

In this next stage of the program, we aim to work with the relevant stories and modules we made in the past, and work with and support Yukon educators and local salmon stewards to provide training with educators so they can learn to facilitate the curriculum we have developed.

While DFO currently supports these technical elements (tanks, egg takes, maintenance, etc.) of the
Stream to Sea program, R2R will offer relevant story-based support to educators and learners by
offering resources, classroom visits across the Yukon, relevant educational support that is outdoor,
land-based, and culturally connected.

The impetus for this project is driven by the concern that the Yukon public is losing their connection to Yukon salmon. In the absence of being able to fish for Canadian-origin Yukon River and Porcupine salmon (recreational and commercial) and drastic conservation (subsistence) amongst First Nations and rural Alaska and Yukon, there are limited opportunities to harvest and make a connection. In the absence of this connection there is a concern that they will no longer value and protect this resource.

Whitehorse Rapids Fishway Stewardship

This project provides a strong stewardship opportunity for its young employees and the various visitors to the Fishway. The stewardship portion of this project targets people of all ages who visit the fish ladder, but particular focus is on its employees, including local high school and university students. These employees develop a good understanding of the salmon life cycle, management and habitat as they monitor information from DFO and ADF&G to follow the passage of the salmon up the river, and work with hatchery staff to collect broodstock, look after salmon fry aquaria in the interpretive centre, communicate this information to fishway visitors daily and conduct stream walks at Wolf Creek to monitor adult returns. Fishway employees also learn about sampling techniques and salmon husbandry through assisting the Hatchery manager with egg takes and ASL sampling. The employees communicate their knowledge to a broad range of visitors to the ladder, including the hosted Open House in August during the primary run time, which fosters an appreciation for salmon and support for the management of the salmon and their habitat. Public recognition of the importance of this interpretation venue to the tourism sector of the Yukon also enhances the local support for stewardship of Yukon River salmon. Through this project the various visitors learn about the valuable resource that is present in the Yukon River drainage and the employees through their work experience learn valuable skills that can help them pursue a career in fish and wildlife interests.

Klondike River Chinook Stock Restoration

The objective of this proposal is the development of a “Klondike River Chinook Salmon Stock Restoration Plan” which will, among other aspects, serve to compile all existing Chinook salmon restoration and enhancement (R&E) research projects that have occurred along the Klondike River since 1989. It is our intention to examine existing data with respect to water quality, water quantity/ flow rates, water temperature, juvenile rearing habitat, juvenile success rates (including juvenile assessments of outmigration timings and documented size data for juveniles (i.e. length/ weight), redds/ adult spawning areas, and adult spawning timing. A thorough examination of this data will ultimately identify any knowledge gaps that must be addressed prior to committing to and deciding upon the type of restoration project that will best suit conditions found on the Klondike River.

Once all information has been compiled and evaluated, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in will then move forward with a review of the evaluation and fully develop the Klondike River Restoration Plan. It is our desire to have the Klondike River Restoration Plan determine the optimum approach for stock restoration for the Chinook salmon on the Klondike River through the data compilation and analysis, current site analysis and insight gained from other on-going restoration research in the Yukon River watershed.


Temperature Monitoring of Yukon River Chinook Salmon Spawning and Migration Habitats in Canada

After a returning salmon leaves the marine environment, water temperatures largely determine its ability to migrate and spawn successfully. The goal of this project is to develop a publicly accessible baseline of the thermal regimes of Yukon River Chinook Salmon spawning and migration habitats in Canada.

The Yukon River Canadian Water Temperature Monitoring Network (the Network) was initiated during the 2011 – 2012 ADF&G water temperature project, and is continued by a Canadian Consultant to the present. The Network currently comprises 15 Stations, and data collection is conducted in watercourses utilized by Chinook Salmon for adult migration and spawning, as well as juvenile incubation, rearing, overwintering and downstream migration. Design of the Network includes both geographical and temporal components. Data from temperature data loggers at each station are downloaded, checked and used to generate mean, minimum and maximum daily temperatures, and this data set is uploaded to

The primary rationale for the project continuing is that it extends the temporal length of the baseline. This allows more complete consideration of the inter-annual range of temperatures that may be expected, and strengthens the baseline for future salmon fishery and habitat managers to determine temperature trends and effects thereof. The secondary rationale is the public nature of the project, with data being widely and freely distributed. This enables access to the data by agency and non-agency persons, and reduces the risk that data – and the investment in collecting it – will be lost due to personnel changes, government reorganizations or simple neglect.


Ta’an Kwäch’än Council Fox Creek Salmon Restoration Project

Fox Creek is a lake-headed tributary to Lake Laberge and the Yukon River, located approximately 50 km north of Whitehorse. It lies within the traditional territory of Ta’an Kwäch’än Council (TKC) and historically supported a Chinook salmon fishery; however, since the late 1950’s this stock has been extirpated. Habitat changes (forest fire/beavers and/or fishing (easy access) to Fox Creek may have played a role in decline of this stock. Ta’an Kwäch’än Council’s goal for the Fox Creek Salmon Chinook Salmon Restoration Program is to re-establish a self-sustaining population of Chinook with sufficient spawners to have a high probability of long-term persistence in the face of variability in survival due to natural changes in the environment. TKC aims to ensure that a viable natural stock is abundant enough to contribute to a sustainable harvest for current and future generations as part of their natural culture and heritage.
From 2007 to 2015 TKC assessed, developed and implemented Phase I of this program and Year 8 (2015) marked the end of that phase. The Phase I Chinook Salmon Stock Restoration Plan for Fox Creek (CRE-52N-07) suggested restoration of this extirpated stock be conducted over 2 Chinook salmon life cycles.
The latter part of Phase I saw the return of Chinook salmon to Fox Creek and the stock is showing signs of recovery. Phase II will use knowledge gained in Phase I to guide an implementation and monitoring approach to establish a viable, naturally self-sustaining Chinook salmon population that will contribute to a sustainable harvest for TKC citizens.


Genetic Stock Identification of Pilot Station Chinook Salmon

To effectively manage Yukon River Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) salmon stocks originating from Canada, fishery managers require an understanding of the stock composition of the run as it enters the river. Canadian-origin Chinook salmon migrate through approximately 1,200 miles of fisheries in the Alaska portion of the drainage. An estimate of the Canadian-origin Chinook salmon run strength and migration timing is vital to ensuring that appropriate management actions are taken to meet border escapement objectives. This project helps in the management of Yukon River Chinook salmon by providing estimates of stock composition of Chinook salmon migrating past the mainstem sonar project near Pilot Station in the lower portion of the Yukon River. The ADF&G Gene Conservation Laboratory (GCL) creates in-season stock composition estimates by genotyping samples from the sonar project test fishery, and using the resulting genotypes to perform mixed stock analysis (MSA). Of particular importance to fishery managers is identification of the Canadian-origin component of the Chinook salmon run.

Deliverables from this project will include in-season analyses of the Canadian-origin component of Chinook salmon passage, which will be disseminated to key fishery research and management staff, from Federal and State agencies, in both the U.S. and Canada. The results will be published in department News Releases in-season, the Yukon River Panel United States/Canada Joint Technical Committee’s (JTC) annual report, and in a final report to the Yukon River Panel, including relevant comparisons to historical data and observed trends.

Deadman Creek Chinook Salmon Restoration Project (and Teslin River Chinook Stock Restoration Investigation)

Chinook salmon in the Teslin River watershed have one of the longest salmon migrations in North America, with the headwaters of the Teslin River being nearly 3,000 km upstream from the Bering Sea. The Teslin River watershed is also a major spawning destination for Canadian-origin Chinook: The results from the Teslin River sonar (and in-season genetic analysis at Eagle) during 2014 and 2015 have indicated that approximately 25% of the passage of Canadian-origin Chinook is destined for the Teslin River watershed.
This project will build upon previous projects to reintroduce a spawning population of Chinook salmon to Deadman Creek, a tributary that flows into Teslin Lake approximately 30 km north of the community of Teslin using in-stream egg incubation (egg planting) methods. The 2016 work followed a project conducted by the Teslin Tlingit Council (TTC) during 2015 to identify potential Chinook stock and/or habitat restoration projects in the Teslin River watershed. The Deadman Creek framework is intended to be a working document which will be updated and revised as new monitoring (survival) data becomes available in future years.


Yukon River Pre-Season Planning Process

The project goal is to conduct public outreach to an adult audience of active Yukon River fishers to build a more aware public constituency that is motivated to maintain and protect salmon stocks of Canadian origin. Over the past ten years the Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association (YRDFA) has hosted a one-day meeting to discuss pre-season planning for the management of declining Canadian origin Chinook salmon, fall chum and other important issues related to the upcoming fishing season. Meeting attendees include Tribal Council representatives, state and federal fisheries management agencies and other Yukon River fishery stakeholders. The meetings are a necessary annual event convening stakeholders, representing a majority of Yukon River fishing communities along the Alaskan portion of the Yukon River, with Alaskan agency fishery managers to discuss how to protect Canadian origin Chinook and fall chum salmon and meet other management goals.

This project has demonstrated that outreach through face-to-face meetings with the Yukon River public has led to increased community partnership with fisheries managers in their management efforts to conserve Canadian origin Chinook salmon.



KDFN Michie Creek Salmon and Habitat Monitoring Project

Salmon at the source: Kwanlin Dün monitor chinook

The Kwanlin Dün First Nation is keeping an eye on chinook salmon at the spawning grounds: A place where a 3,000km migration begins and ends.Philippe Morin visited the First Nation's salmon monitoring program on the McClintock river.

Posted by CBC Yukon on Sunday, September 6, 2015

Video source: CBC

Michie Creek is a tributary of the M’Clintock River. It is estimated that roughly 35% of the Chinook Salmon that travel through the Whitehorse Fish Ladder end their journey at Michie Creek to spawn.

The Michie Creek spawning population represents one of the longest migrations of Chinook salmon in the Yukon Drainage Basin – over 3,000 kms and, it is upstream of the Whitehorse Rapids Dam. It is also a fish stock subject to the greatest risk of overharvest because it migrates through fisheries on both sides of the Canada/ U.S. border.

The Michie Creek Salmon and Habitat Monitoring Project maintains continued access for migrating Chinook to reach its primary spawning location on upper Michie Creek at the outlet of Michie Lake. For over a decade, many barriers had to be breached such as beaver dams and logjams for migrating salmon to reach their spawning grounds.

The spawning population is monitored each year by counting redds (salmon nests) and the number of adult spawners present at the site.

Hourly temperature and flow data have also been collected over the summer months for the duration of the project. This database represents one of the only Chinook spawning locations in the Yukon where this data has been documented over the long-term.