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.