Alaska Fishery Research Bulletin Issues, Vol.12 No. 1 - Summer 2006

The Commercial Salmon Fishery in Alaska

John H. Clark, Robert D. Mecum, Andrew McGregor, Paul Krasnowski and Amy Carroll — Vol. 12(1):1–146. 2006.

Alaska’s commercial salmon fisheries have harvested an average of 172 million salmon annually since 1990, ranging from 123 million to 221 million fish per year. This stands in stark contrast to the average annual harvest of 41 million fish during the 1950s — the final decade under federal management of the state’s commercial salmon fisheries. When Alaska assumed management authority of its salmon fisheries in 1960, one year after statehood, many of the state’s salmon runs were depressed and its salmon fisheries were in desperate shape. In this paper we describe how these once depleted salmon fisheries have been rebuilt over the last 45 years into one of the strongest and most sustainable fishery resources in the world. We review state policies and regulatory structure, describe how the resource is managed, and provide outputs from the management program including harvest levels and values, the number of fishermen involved, and the current status of Alaska’s salmon stocks. Detailed information is provided for each of 11 commercial fishing areas in the state. We also provide information on funding levels and sources that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has used to support its salmon management and assessment programs. Challenges faced by the state in maintaining and improving resource management and by the state and industry in improving fishery profitability are discussed.

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Large PDF file is avaiable in 7 parts: Part 1 (PDF 1,507 kB); Part 2 (PDF 1,956 kB);
Part 3 (PDF 1,782 kB); Part 4 (PDF 1,518 kB); Full Article (PDF 5,442 kB)

Using Otolith Morphometrics to Separate Small Walleye Pollock Theragra chalcogramma from Arctic Cod Boreogadus saida in Mixed Samples

Jonathan A. Short, Christopher M. Gburski, and Daniel K. Kimura — Vol. 12(1):147–152. 2006.

Species identification errors occasionally occur when collecting biological information and ageing structures. Therefore, it is useful to have the ability to distinguish between species using only otoliths. Otolith morphometrics (area, perimeter, length, width, and number of scallops) and fish fork length were used to distinguish between walleye pollock Theragra chalcogramma and Arctic cod Boreogadus saida measuring between 8 and 20 cm caught in the eastern Bering Sea. Discriminant analysis of otolith morphometrics and fork length correctly classified verified walleye pollock and Arctic cod with 99% accuracy. The number of scallops and otolith area were the most effective individual otolith characteristics for distinguishing between species. Otolith shape analysis using Fourier methods with fork length was also attempted and was found to be less effective (94% accuracy) than otolith morphometrics and fork length combined. The discriminant functions were applied to an unverified productionaged juvenile walleye pollock sample from the eastern Bering Sea. Based on length-at-age of some specimens, it was thought that this sample might be contaminated with Arctic cod. Twelve of the 154 (8%) production-aged specimens were classified as Arctic cod by the best of these discriminant functions; however, none of the aged specimens displayed strong Arctic cod characteristics.

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Full Article (PDF 340 kB)

Assessing the Potential for Remote Delivery of Persistent Organic Pollutants to the Kenai River in Alaska

Stanley Rice and Adam Moles — Vol. 12(1):153–157. 2006.

Contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides are among the most environmentally persistent pollutants. Although the more problematic of these chemicals are not produced in the United States, the compounds can be transported to Alaskan watersheds from remote locations via winds, currents, and through carcasses of returning salmon. Concentrations of total polychlorinated biphenyls and 23 pesticides eluted from passive samplers deployed for 30 days in the Kenai River were near or below 10 ppb, despite 30-day deployments of the strips. Concentrations of these compounds in both eggs and muscle tissue from returning Chinook salmon were also below 10 ppb and did not differ with respect to ocean residence time. There was no evidence of remote delivery of polychlorinated biphenyls or pesticides in this major salmon producing river.

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Full Article (PDF 313 kB)