Northern Cook Inlet Management Area
Fishing Research

Susitna River Chinook Salmon Abundance

boatA technician measures a Chinook salmon on the Susitna River. Data collected on each stock is incorporated in models that estimate escapements and other important measures regarding the health of these vital fish.

Recent Alaska-wide downturns in productivity and abundance of Chinook salmon stocks have created social and economic hardships across many communities in rural and urban Alaska. There is a fundamental need to more precisely characterize productivity and abundance trends of Chinook salmon stocks across Alaska, gather essential information necessary to understand root causes of these widespread declines, and track population trends into the future. The Susitna River was selected by ADF&G as a Chinook salmon indicator stock, with estimation of the inriver run size in the mainstem Sustina and Yentna Rivers being recommended stock assessment projects. In 2022, Sport Fish staff from Palmer will increase efforts to improve our understanding of Yentna River Chinook salmon, while continuing to evaluate the stocks of the mainstem Susitna River (Deshka, Eastside Susitna, Talkeetna River, and the Chulitna River) using the Deshka River weir and aerial surveys to provide the data necessary to model escapements.