Multiple fisheries projects are being conducted to help with the Chinook and chum salmon management throughout the TCC region. Current projects include the Henshaw Creek Weir, Summer Science Camp, Yukon River Salmon Genetic Stock Identification and the Using Aerial Surveys and UAV Remote Sensing to Map and Characterize Spawning Habitat Usage for Teedraanjik and Coleen River Salmon Stocks.
Henshaw Creek Weir
The Henshaw Creek Weir has been operational since 2000, collecting abundance estimates and run timing on Chinook and chum salmon, as well as collecting age, sex, and length data.
TCC has been operating the project since 2007, and works in collaboration with the United States Fish & Wildlife Service to maintain the continuation of this long term project.
The data collected from this project helps enable better management practices to ensure the sustainability of our salmon resources.
Yukon River Salmon Genetic Stock Identification
Management of Chinook and chum salmon in the Yukon River requires differentiation between stocks originating from the various tributaries in both the United States and Canada. Genetic stock identification (GSI) is effectively used to distinguish country of origin and broad and fine scale stock groupings of Chinook salmon caught in the commercial and subsistence fisheries on the Yukon River (e.g. Decovich and Howard 2011). Chum salmon can be genetically differentiated into summer and fall runs, with broad scale stock groupings in each (Flannery et al. 2007). Fundamental to accurate GSI is the development of a comprehensive baseline genetic database which represents all spawning stocks that potentially contribute to the mixed stock run or fishery.
The purpose of this project is to continue to develop and refine genetic baselines for Yukon River Chinook and chum salmon stocks through collection and genetic analyses of tissue samples from representative spawning populations in the Yukon River. Continued development of the genetic baselines are necessary to obtain the most accurate allocations in mixed stock analysis, a critical tool for both inseason management and postseason evaluation of Yukon River salmon runs.
Summer Science Camp
The Fisheries Program also utilizes the Henshaw Creek Weir Project as a platform to offer a youth summer science camp.
The Henshaw Creek Science Camp is a five day program for middle school and high school youth from the surrounding villages. The TCC fisheries biologist works together with Elders from the surrounding villages and with the National Park Service to help students learn about traditional knowledge and western science.
Using Aerial Surveys and UAV Remote Sensing to Map and Characterize Spawning Habitat Usage for Teedraanjik and Coleen River Salmon Stocks
The overarching goal of this program is to gather and analyze remotely sensed data that will serve to protect and preserve salmon populations and their spawning habitat. The specific objectives of this program are to 1) conduct aerial surveys of Chinook and fall chum salmon spawning in the Teedraanjik and Coleen Rivers to determine the spatial extent and distribution of spawning aggregations, 2) submit nominations to the State of Alaska’s Anadromous Waters Catalog (AWC) when salmon are positively identified in areas presently not included within the AWC, and 3) characterize spawning habitat for Chinook and fall Chum salmon spawning in the Teedraanjik and Coleen Rivers by collecting thermal imagery during peak spawning and water temperature profiles over the incubation period