Chinook Salmon Research Initiative
Copper River Chinook Salmon

Juvenile Salmon Abundance

Project Summary

Project Name:

Copper River Juvenile Chinook Salmon Abundance


Spring juvenile Chinook salmon coded-wire tagging project. In spring 2014, the first phase of a multi-year juvenile salmon coded wire tagging study will be initiated. It is hoped that this study will ultimately provide estimates of the annual abundance of Chinook salmon smolt emigrating from the Copper River and their subsequent marine survival. Estimates of smolt abundance and survival provide information about processes like recruitment and mortality that is needed to understand the causes of variability in Chinook salmon returns. In order to estimate smolt abundance, outmigrating smolt are tagged in the spring and then spawners returning from that particular brood or parent year over all age classes are sampled and the number of outmigrating smolt is estimated based on the fraction of adult fish that have tags. However, before a project of this magnitude is funded, a study to assess the feasibility of capturing emigrating smolts from the Copper River is required. Abundance has ranged from 100,000 to 275,000 since 2000.


Copper River near Cordova

Total Project Cost:


Project Dates:

2014, 2015, 2016

Project Type(s):

Juvenile abundance

Life Stage:



Copper River Chinook salmon


Division of Sport Fish
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
1300 College Road
Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701

Fishery Biologist 3

Allison Matter
Phone: (907) 459-7365