An understanding of the total harvest of both U.S.- and Canadian-origin Yukon River Chinook salmon is necessary in order to address harvest sharing objectives outlined in the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Important subsistence fisheries occur in Alaska across six distinct fishery management districts on the Yukon River, and stock composition of the subsistence harvest varies among these districts because of differences in harvest timing, location, and gear used. Complete information on these harvests is critical for creating Canadian-origin Chinook salmon brood year tables and run reconstructions, which form the basis of the spawner-recruit models used to estimate past and future run productivity and help establish escapement goals for Canadian-origin Chinook salmon. These data also help managers understand the effects of management actions and fishing gear on harvest composition. The objective of this proposal is to collect representative genetic stock identification information, coupled with age, sex, and length data, from the Chinook salmon subsistence harvest in Districts 1 through 5.
This project began in 2009 at the Tanana Chiefs Conference, and has been funded by the Yukon River Panel Restoration & Enhancement Fund since 2012. As in previous programs, sampling will be done by local community members under the supervision of biologists and in accordance with ADF&G sampling protocols. Participants will be paid for the samples they collect in order to encourage participation in the program. ADF&G will receive the raw data and estimate age, sex, length and stock composition of the subsistence Chinook salmon harvests from Districts 1-5. A brood table will be published annually for the Joint Technical Committee, and a separate report will be provided that documents the data collection, harvest composition, and comparisons to historical patterns.