Genetic Stock Identification of Fall Chum Salmon in Subsistence Harvest from the Tanana Area, Yukon River

The purpose of this 3-year project initiated by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game is to estimate the proportions of Canadian- and US-origin fall Chum Salmon caught in the Tanana subsistence fishery through the season. The community of Tanana harvests between 40% and 50% of the Yukon Area District 5 harvest (on average 20,000 fall Chum Salmon). Households in the Yukon Area District 5 harvest on average 60% of the fall Chum Salmon taken for subsistence in the Yukon River. The other large harvesters in District 5 include Fort Yukon and Eagle, both of which are located upstream of the Porcupine River and would consist of primarily Canadian-origin fish. In this study, genetic tissue samples will be collected and analyzed for stock composition in fish caught in the Yukon River near the community of Tanana on the right bank upstream to the Rampart Rapids area. Using genetic stock identification (GSI), sample sizes of 200 fish per stratum would be required to determine U.S. versus Canadian origin for each of 3 strata between August 15 and September 30. Knowing the stock composition of Canadian-origin fall Chum Salmon in this large and concentrated fishery in Tanana may provide more informed management decisions. 2016 is the third and final year of the project, and data collection was conducted by Spearfish Research.