Retrospective analysis of AYK Chinook salmon growth

By: , and 



Harvests of Yukon and Kuskokwim Chinook salmon declined significantly during 1998- 2002 in response to fewer returning salmon. Factors affecting the decline in Chinook salmon abundance are largely unknown. Growth of salmon in freshwater and the ocean is generally thought to influence salmon survival, therefore we examined historical Chinook salmon catch trends and developed growth indices of age-1.3 and age-1.4 Yukon and Kuskokwim Chinook salmon during each year and life stage in freshwater and the ocean, 1964-2004, using measurements of salmon scale growth. Availability of Yukon scales was greater than that of Kuskokwim scales during 1964-2004.

Harvests of Yukon and Kuskokwim Chinook salmon rapidly increased in the mid-1970s, then rapidly declined in the late 1990s, apparently in response to the 1976/77 ocean regime shift and the 1997/98 El Nino event. Runs of Nushagak District Chinook salmon (Bristol Bay) also appeared to have been affected by these events in addition to the 1989 regime shift. The rapid responses of Chinook salmon abundance to climate change suggest late life stages were primarily affected, at least initially. Therefore, we searched for Chinook salmon growth patterns that might be related to changes in climate.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Report
Title Retrospective analysis of AYK Chinook salmon growth
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher AYK Sustainable Salmon Initiative
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 44 p.
Country United States
State Alaska
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