2016 is the second year of a proposed 4-year project to assess juvenile Chinook salmon out-migration in the Big Salmon River. The project addresses a number of objectives. A primary goal is to understand the abundance of juvenile Chinook salmon that are produced in this system and link this back to the number of spawners that produced these juveniles. Low density and varying migration timings make assessment difficult; thus, in an effort to find a method that allows full estimation of the number and timings of juveniles, we will be using and assessing different capture methods–a rotary screw trap (RST), beach seining and minnow trapping.
Developing an understanding of the relationship between juvenile production and the spawning escapement that produces them gives us a better understanding of Chinook salmon production and its limits, and helps us plan for stock and habitat restoration activities. This project is closely tied to the Big Salmon River Sonar Project, and operates out of the same site. Use of sonar technology to monitor juvenile out-migration is also under consideration.