Chinook Salmon Research Initiative
Kuskokwim River Chinook Salmon

Upper Kuskokwim Adult Spawning Abundance

Project Summary

Project Name:

Upper Kuskokwim River Adult Chinook Salmon Spawning Abundance


Adult Chinook salmon mark-recapture and age, sex, and length studies. The goal of the study is to estimate the total number of adult Chinook salmon that return to the Kuskokwim River annually from 2014–2016. Chinook salmon will be captured approximately 270 kilometers upriver from the mouth of the Kuskokwim River using fish wheels and drift gillnets. Captured fish will be tagged with radio tags and tracked as they migrate upriver to spawning tributaries. Weirs operated on four select spawning tributaries will serve as recapture sites for tagged salmon. The total number of Chinook salmon that migrate past the tag site will be estimated using information from the tag deployment and recovery events. Estimates from the mark–recapture study will be added to the total harvest and escapement downriver from the tag site as a way to reconstruct the total number of Chinook salmon that return to the Kuskokwim River each year. Project results will be used to calibrate a statistical model that is used by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to estimate historical and future year total run abundance and escapement.


Upper Kuskokwim River

Total Project Cost:


Project Dates:

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Project Type(s):

Adult abundance

Life Stage:



Kuskokwim River Chinook salmon

Project Partners:

Kuskokwim Native Association


Division of Commercial Fisheries
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99518

Fishery Biologist II

Keegan Birchfield
Phone: (907)267-2397