Chinook Salmon Research Initiative
Copper River Chinook Salmon

Adult Harvest, Genetics & Coded Wire Tags

Project Summary

Project Name:

Copper River Chinook Salmon Harvest, Genetics, and Coded Wire Tags


Age, sex, length, coded-wire tag, and genetic sampling of the commercial fisheries in the Copper River District. Chinook salmon are harvested in subsistence, commercial, sport, personal-use fisheries throughout the Copper River drainage and in nearshore marine waters. On average, 72% of the harvest has been taken in the Copper River District commercial fishery from fish returning to a variety of tributaries in the drainage. However, the harvest and abundance of individual stocks is not well known. The management strategy for the Copper River District salmon commercial fishery is to provide inriver passage for all time segments (and presumably stocks) of the overall run. Thus harvests have generally been managed with two evenly-spaced fishery openers each week. However, until recently very little information was available to demonstrate run-timing differences among Copper River Chinook salmon stocks. This project will apply the available baseline of genetic information representing Chinook salmon populations within the Copper River drainage, around the Gulf of Alaska, and in southern areas to estimate the relative stock compositions of Chinook salmon harvests in the commercial fishery in the Copper River District from 2013 to 2018. It will also screen for possible coded wire tagged fish captured in the fishery.


Copper River near Cordova

Total Project Cost:


Project Dates:

2014, 2015, 2016

Project Type(s):

Marine commercial harvest sampling

Life Stage:



Copper River Chinook salmon


Alaska Department of Fish and Game
351 Research Court
Kodiak, AK 99615

Fishery Biologist 3

Jennifer Morella
Phone: (907) 424-3212