Chinook Salmon Research Initiative
Stikine River Chinook Salmon

Adult Spawning Abundance

Project Summary

Project Name:

Stikine River Adult Chinook Salmon Spawning Abundance


Adult Chinook salmon mark-recapture and age, sex and length studies. Mark-recapture studies have been conducted in the Stikine River drainage since 1996. The ongoing Chinook salmon research on the Stikine River is conducted cooperatively between Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Tahltan River First Nation. Since 1975, spawning abundance has ranged from 5,723 to 63,523 and averaged around 25,500 large Chinook salmon. From May to early July, marks are applied to Chinook salmon in the lower Stikine River at Kakwan Point and constitute the first event of the mark-recapture experiment. Fish are captured using drift gillnets and when a fish is caught it is immediately pulled in and gently cut out of the net and marked with an individually numbered spaghetti tag and sampled for age, sex, and length information and released alive. Tagged Chinook salmon are then potentially recaptured at three upriver locations making up the second event of the mark-recapture experiment. All Chinook salmon are inspected for missing adipose fins that may indicate that they were marked as juveniles with a coded wire tag.


Stikine River near Wrangell, Petersburg

Total Project Cost:


Project Dates:

2014, 2015

Project Type(s):

Adult abundance

Life Stage:



Stikine River Chinook salmon

Project Partners:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Tahltan River First Nation


Alaska Department of Fish and Game
802 3rd Street
Douglas, AK 99824-5412

Fishery Biologist II

Kristin Courtney
Phone: (907) 874-3822