Alsek Chinook Run Reconstruction

Since 1976, weir counts have been made on the Klukshu River, part of the Alsek River system, by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in co-operation with the Champagne-Aishihik First Nation. In 2007, the weir counts at Klukshu, in conjunction with Chinook catches from the test fishery at Dry Bay, were used to estimate the Alsek Chinook population. The results were encouraging, and by recommendation by the Northern Fund Committee in 2008, a statistically valid sampling strategy that would provide the foundation for reconstructing the Chinook return to the Alsek River was completed. Based on this model, it was proposed that funding be provided to analyze Chinook tissue samples collected in the commercial sockeye fishery in Dry Bay (up to 500 per season), to reconstruct the Alsek Chinook runs as described in Gazey’s analysis. The project was carried out successfully in 2014, but there has not been enough fish in 2015 and 2016.