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Northern Cook Inlet Management Area
Fishing Research

Deshka River Salmon Weir

The goals for the Deshka River project are to count the chinook and coho salmon escapements and estimate the age, sex, and size composition of the escapements. This information is used by fishery managers to assess the chinook and coho run strength in-season and set appropriate fishery regulations. During June through September each year a weir is operated at rivermile 7 of the Deshka River to count salmon and capture a sample of fish.

Susitna Coho and Chum Salmon Research

The Susitna River has large runs of coho and chum salmon, but the knowledge of their total abundance, spawning areas, and distribution throughout the drainage is very spotty. This hampers setting regulations for harvest or protection. The goals of the current research program are to estimate the abundance and spawning distribution of coho and chum salmon in the entire Susitna River drainage. This is accomplished by capturing salmon in fish wheels in the lower Susitna River and tagging the fish with a dart tag, which looks like a piece of yellow plastic tubing about 6 inches long. More fish wheels, further upstream, capture salmon so they can be inspected for tags. A few fish each day also get a radio tag. These fish are tracked as they pass a series of radio antennas throughout the drainage that record the radio tag number and time of passage. To locate the spawning sites of radiotagged fish more precisely, aerial surveys are conducted every two weeks.