Profile updated on 27 January 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

SPECIES NAME(s)

Chinook salmon, King Salmon

COMMON NAMES

Chinook salmon, king salmon


ANALYSIS

Strengths

1. Alaska is displaying responsiveness to emerging stock status issues through the regulatory listing of some stocks, declaration of a State of Disaster in some management regions in 2012, and development of a statewide research plan to address knowledge gaps with the species. 2. The 2009 edition of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) stipulated an overall reduction in exploitation rate of the Southeast troll fishery by 30% for 2009-2018 to protect weak stocks. 3. Monitoring of harvest and stock composition in the troll fishery is fairly robust..

Weaknesses

1. Many stocks in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim and Cook Inlet regions are exhibiting depressed returns. 2. Mean length at age measures are exhibiting declines among Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim stocks. 3. High cumulative overage (harvest vs. post-season allowable catch) is noted in the Southeast Alaska troll fishery in 1999-2011. Overages in one year are not corrected for in the next year. 4. The release of adipose fin-clipped hatchery fish without Coded Wire Tags by Pacific Northwest hatcheries is a potential threat to the integrity of the Coded Wire Tagging stock composition monitoring program, long used to estimate hatchery and wild contributions to catch. 5. There is high incidental mortality in the Southeast Alaska troll fishery, amounting to approximately 14% of the legal harvest.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

7 to 10

Managers Compliance:

6.5 to 10

Fishers Compliance:

7 to 10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

6 to 10

Future Health:

6 to 10


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Alaska salmon:

    MSC Recertified

  • Annette Islands Reserve salmon:

    MSC Recertified

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

DISTRICT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Annette Islands Reserve Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Purse seines
Trolling lines
Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Fish wheel
Set gillnets (anchored)
Bristol Bay Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Set gillnets (anchored)
Cook Inlet Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Purse seines
Set gillnets (anchored)
Copper River Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Southeast Alaska Alaska United States Drift gillnets
Purse seines
Set gillnets (anchored)
Alaska/PSC United States Trolling lines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 17 July 2008

Strengths

1. Alaska is displaying responsiveness to emerging stock status issues through the regulatory listing of some stocks, declaration of a State of Disaster in some management regions in 2012, and development of a statewide research plan to address knowledge gaps with the species. 2. The 2009 edition of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) stipulated an overall reduction in exploitation rate of the Southeast troll fishery by 30% for 2009-2018 to protect weak stocks. 3. Monitoring of harvest and stock composition in the troll fishery is fairly robust..

Weaknesses

1. Many stocks in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim and Cook Inlet regions are exhibiting depressed returns. 2. Mean length at age measures are exhibiting declines among Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim stocks. 3. High cumulative overage (harvest vs. post-season allowable catch) is noted in the Southeast Alaska troll fishery in 1999-2011. Overages in one year are not corrected for in the next year. 4. The release of adipose fin-clipped hatchery fish without Coded Wire Tags by Pacific Northwest hatcheries is a potential threat to the integrity of the Coded Wire Tagging stock composition monitoring program, long used to estimate hatchery and wild contributions to catch. 5. There is high incidental mortality in the Southeast Alaska troll fishery, amounting to approximately 14% of the legal harvest.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 20 December 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.

Last updated on 20 December 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.

Last updated on 20 December 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.

Last updated on 20 December 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.

Last updated on 20 December 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.

Last updated on 20 December 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 17 July 2008

Harvest Monitoring

Virtually 100% of the landed catch in the troll fishery is reported with a fish ticket reporting system and compliance is complete and monitored. However an estimated 14% of reported catch in the Southeast Alaska troll fishery (which accounts for 40% of Alaskan Chinook salmon harvest) is lost to incidental mortality, including sublegal fish (shakers) killed in the regular retention fishery and both legal and sublegal fish killed in the non-retention (coho) fishery. Programs to monitor incidental mortality rates are inconsistent.

Hatchery stocks and many wild stocks coastwide are coded-wire tagged. Many of these programs have been on-going since the mid-1970’s and provide a wealth of information on distribution of various stocks in coastwide fisheries. The CTC currently measures the exploitation rate on 48 tagged stocks and abundance of 31 indicator stocks in the Chinook Model. Genetic studies have also been conducted to confirm the stock composition of Alaska troll catches.

Escapement Monitoring

A variety of methods are used to count escapements for the over 70 Alaskan Chinook salmon stocks managed to achieve escapement goals. There are continuing efforts to improve on escapement monitoring methods. The escapements of all major Chinook salmon stocks in the Southeast Alaska troll fishery are measured and documented in annual reports of the Chinook Technical Committee (CTC) of the Pacific Salmon Commission. This fishery is managed under the auspices of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. The CTC documents the escapements of 50 stocks outside of Alaska and 11 Transboundary and Southeast Alaska Stocks.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Harvest is actively and accurately monitored through the fish ticket system. The reporting of subsistence harvests is likely less accurate than for other components of the fishery (SCS 2007). Estimated numbers of AYK area Chinook salmon taken in the pollock fishery are available, although there is limited stock specific data (SCS 2007).

Escapements for most Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim stocks are measured through the use of aerial surveys, while a relatively small number are fully enumerated through the use or weirs, counting towers and sonar detection (Munro and Volk 2012). A large proportion of stocks have some sort of escapement monitoring, though measurements are not carried out in every year for every system, particularly those relying on aerial surveys.Quality of aerial surveys can also vary considerably depending on environmental conditions. In their 2007 assessment of the Alaska salmon fishery, the Marine Stewardship Council noted that escapement monitoring and methods to estimate escapement were improving in the Kuskokwim and Norton Sound Management Areas (SCS 2007).

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Harvest monitoring

Salmon harvest in Alaska is monitored accurately through the fish ticket system. There is district (watershed)-specific harvest data available for Bristol Bay (Jones et al. 2013).

Escapement Monitoring

Escapement is currently only monitored on the Nushagak River, the largest Chinook salmon-producing system, due to limitations in funding. Managers intend to resume monitoring of escapement on the two other systems with escapement goals in place, the Alagnak and Naknek Rivers, as soon as possible (Fair et al. 2012).

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Harvest Monitoring

Harvest is monitored accurately in the Alaskan salmon fishery through the fishticket system. However, due to the mixed stock nature of the Upper Cook Inlet commercial fisheries, stock-specific harvest data is unavailable (BOF 2011).

Escapement Monitoring

Escapement is monitored annually for most of the 24 stocks for which escapement goals are in place. Escapements for most of these stocks have been monitored by single aerial or foot surveys, which provide an index of escapement (Fair et al. 2010).

Over the last few years, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has been transitioning to management of Kenai River Chinook salmon using DIDSON sonar, and during this transition (2010-2012) estimates of escapement versus goals have not been available for the early- and late-run stocks of this river (Fleischman and McKinley 2013).

Research Needs

In late 2012-early 2013, researchers with Alaska Department of Fish and Game compiled a document detailing Chinook salmon-focused research gaps. The research plan was prepared in response to stock status declines in the species throughout the state. With respect to Cook Inlet, noted gaps included:

- stock-specific harvests for all marine fisheries;
- comprehensive estimates of age-sex-size for particular stocks;
- smolt abundance estimation
- marine survival rate estimation (ADF&G 2013).

Last updated on 9 March 2016


 
 
Alaska

Harvest Monitoring

Virtually 100% of the landed Chinook salmon catch in Southeast Alaska is reported with a fish ticket reporting system and compliance is complete and monitored.

Stock-specific harvest information is generated for the Taku and Stikine fisheries through Genetic Stock Identification monitoring. Results indicate that harvests of these fisheries are comprised primarily of local Southeast Alaskan stocks and nearby Canadian stocks originating in the transboundary region. A very minor proportion of the harvest (≤2%) consists of southern British Columbia or Pacific Northwest USA stocks (Gilk and Carlile 2010).

Escapement Monitoring

Escapement is monitored for the 11 indicator stocks managed to achieve escapement goals. Total escapement is estimated directly for many of the larger rivers, using weirs on the Situk and Klukshu Rivers, and mark–recapture tagging projects on the Chilkat, Taku, Stikine, and Unuk Rivers (Der Hovanisian et al. 2011). Monitoring coverage is adequate to generate estimates of total escapement in the 11 monitored systems.

Alaska/PSC

Virtually 100% of the landed catch in the troll fishery is reported with a fish ticket reporting system and compliance is complete and monitored. However an estimated 14% of reported catch is lost to incidental mortality, including sublegal fish (shakers) killed in the regular retention fishery and both legal and sublegal fish killed in the non-retention (coho) fishery. Programs to monitor incidental mortality rates are inconsistent, although Chinook model results do provide estimates of incidental mortality.

Hatchery stocks and many wild stocks coastwide are coded wire tagged. Many of these programs have been on-going for several decades and provide a wealth of information on distribution of various stocks in coastwide fisheries. The CTC currently measures the exploitation rate on 48 tagged stocks and abundance of 31 indicator stocks in the Chinook Model.

Genetic studies have also been conducted to confirm the stock composition of Alaska troll catches .Between 1998 and 2003, ADF&G used a mixed-stock analysis and the available coast-wide baseline of allozyme genetic markers to identify the genetic stock composition of the commercial troll fishery (see Crane et al. 2000 and Templin et al. 2011). The 1998 study was to evaluate the feasibility of using genetic markers to estimate the composition of Alaska troll catches and the 1999–2003 studies expanded sampling to look at time and area differences in stock composition of troll catches. Samples were obtained from the winter, spring, and summer troll fisheries, with area strata also associated with the estimated stock composition. Templin et al. 2011 found that the Middle/North Oregon Coastal and Upper Columbia River Summer and Fall stocks combined accounted for 30–33% of the harvest. This compares well with the CTC (2012b) analysis which estimated that these stocks in the model account for 36% of the 1985 – 2010 all Alaska gear catch. The genetic results also found important contributions from Thompson River (Fraser Early), West Coast of Vancouver Island, Washington Coastal and Southern Southeast Alaska stocks, which confirmed the coded wire tag results of the Chinook model.      

The Southeast Alaska troll fishery harvests a mixture of Chinook salmon stocks distributed coast-wide from the Situk River near Yakutat to northern and central Oregon Coastal stocks (Templin et al. 2011; CTC 2012a). The escapements of all major Chinook salmon stocks in the fishery, including 50 stocks outside of Alaska and 11 Transboundary and Southeast Alaska Stocks, are measured by respective individual state, local, and tribal agencies. The data is documented and reviewed by the Chinook Technical Committee (CTC).The escapements of all major Chinook salmon stocks in the Alaska troll fishery are measured. The CTC documents the escapements of 50 stocks outside of Alaska and 11 Transboundary and Southeast Alaska Stocks. A variety of methods are used to count escapements, including. foot and aerial counts of spawners, redd counts, carcass counts, dam and weir counts, area under the curve expansions, radio telemetry, and mark recapture estimates using visual counts, coded wire tags, and genetic markers (CTC 2012a). 

The CTC began the documentation of escapement trends in 1987 (CTC 1988) as part of the effort to assess the rebuilding status of stocks. In 2009, PSC established a 5-year Sentinel Stock Program to develop better estimates of escapement for certain key stocks or stock groups (CTC 2011c). Currently about $2 million (US) is budgeted each year to improve escapement estimates.There are continuing efforts to improve on escapement monitoring methods.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 17 July 2008

Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) managers may set two types of target reference points: Biological Escapement Goals and Sustainable Escapement Goals. Biological Escapement Goals are generally based on a more extensive and complex analysis of stock performance in light of escapement observations and are considered to represent the escapement with the greatest potential for maximum sustainable yield. In contrast, Sustainable Escapement Goals represent an escapement level that is known to provide for sustained yield over a 5- to 10-year period.

Regional escapement goal review occurs once every three years and ADF&G recommendations for stock-specific goals of either type go before the Board of Fisheries afterward for consideration and approval. The Board of Fisheries may substitute its own Optimum Escapement Goal for either a Sustainable Escapement Goal or a Biological Escapement Goal if the Board finds a need to do so to meet competing objectives.

The Chinook Technical Committee (CTC) also reviews and formally accepts escapement goals for those stocks harvested in the Southeast troll fishery. There is bilateral (US and Canadian) participation in CTC escapement goal approval proceedings.

Chinook and sockeye stocks account for over 50% of the 300 escapement goals currently in use in Alaska. All Southeast Alaska Chinook escapement goals are BEGs, having undergone extensive monitoring and analysis, including through the CTC approval process (all Southeast Alaska goals have been reviewed by the CTC). In contrast, in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) fishery, only three of 26 stocks have BEGs, and the rest of the stocks are managed to achieve SEGs. Reductions to 13 out of 25 existing Yukon River and Kuskokwim Management Area escapement goals have occurred at least once, and several additional Kuskokwim River goals are likely to be lowered during the next review. In one case, goals were lowered twice (Middle Fork Goodnews River). Escapement goal reductions were associated with missed management objectives for the East Fork Andreafsky River stock (Yukon Management Area) and the Middle Fork Goodnews River stock (Kuskokwim Management Area).

There are instances where well-intentioned managers have set escapement goals too high, and after careful analysis conclude that by lowering the goals there will be a better balance between future needs (conservation) and the immediate benefits to the fishery participants (yield)—which is the balance managers are attempting in a sustained fishery. However, there can also be instances when escapement goals are lowered without a careful consideration of these tradeoffs.

Reference Points

Last updated on 17 Jul 2008

The greatest cause for concern with respect to performance against reference points lies with the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) region, where depressed stock status has been noted for the last decade. Economic ramifications of associated fishery closures were severe to the extent that both areas were among three Alaska salmon fisheries granted federal disaster status by the United States Department of Commerce in 2012.

Four Chinook salmon stocks in the AYK region failed to achieve escapement goals in eight or more of the recent 15 years, or at least five of the past seven years. Among these are the Kwiniuk River and Shaktoolik River stocks in the Norton Sound Management Area, which failed both the 15-year and 7-year benchmarks on the basis of 1997-2011 data. The Shaktoolik River goal has been recommended for elimination in 2013. While the Shaktoolik River Chinook salmon stock is a stock of yield concern, the Kwiniuk River Chinook salmon stock has not been recommended as a stock of concern. In addition, roughly 25% stocks region-wide are noted as lacking escapement goals.

The other district fishery where federal disaster status was granted in 2012 is that of Upper Cook Inlet. Six stocks in that district are currently exhibiting chronic inability to meet escapement and/or yield targets.

As for Alaska-origin stocks harvested in the Southeast Alaska troll fishery, of the 11 Southeast Alaska escapement systems, 10 had decreasing trends in escapement from 1999-2011, two of which (Stikine River and Situk River) exhibited annual decreases over 5%. The Situk is the most northern Chinook salmon stock in Southeast Alaska and very few Situk fish are caught in the troll fishery. The Stikine River is managed under provisions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty Transboundary Agreement and few Chinook salmon from this system are caught in the troll fishery (an average of 4% of the total run). Although most river systems in Southeast Alaska are currently exhibiting decreasing escapements, only 9% of the time do escapements fall below escapement goal ranges.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Chinook salmon are currently managed to achieve 26 escapement goals throughout the AYK Region (Munro and Volk 2012).Three are classified as “Biological Escapement Goals” while the rest are “Sustainable Escapement Goals” as defined by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.All are expressed as ranges. Fourteen of these goals are for stocks located in the Kuskokwim Management Area, five are for Norton Sound Management Area stocks, six are for Alaskan stocks in the Yukon Management Area and one allocates for agreed upon passage of Canadian bound Yukon River stocks. The latter is directed by the U.S. – Canada Yukon River salmon treaty (Estensen et al. 2010). Total abundance of Chinook salmon in each of the region’s areas is difficult to quantify due to the vastness and remoteness of spawning area and the mixed stock nature of the fisheries (Brazil et al. 2010; Estensen et al. 2010; Menard et al. 2010).Most of the region’s escapement goals reflect measures of relative rather than total spawning abundance.Among the AYK stocks that are enumerated for total escapement, the Kogrukluk and Kwethluk River stocks of the Kuskowkim River drainage have the largest escapement goals with ranges of 5,300 – 14,000 and 6,000 – 11,000 fish respectively. There are larger and more numerous stocks present in both the Yukon and Kuskokwim Management Areas than the Norton Sound Management Area, with estimates of total returns for the Kuskokwim River exceeding those for the Yukon River in most years during the last decade (ADF&G 2012f; Bue et al. 2012).

Multiple stocks in the AYK region have had lowered escapement goals in association with missed management objectives in the previous 10 years, and in one case goals were lowered twice (Middle Fork Goodnews River).Escapement goal reductions in association with failure to achieve escapement goals and lack of escapement goals for a number of stocks contributed to an overall score of 6.5 for the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwm Chinook salmon fishery (Table 2).

Reference Points

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

A score of “6” on Sub-Criterion 4.1 (Escapement) was largely due to missed escapement goals for four stocks occurring in excess of seven out of 15 years and/or five out of ten consecutive years for several stocks. Additionally, eight stocks that lack both escapement goals and have missing or poor data to estimate escapement trends were awarded a score of ‘6’. The overall sub-criterion score represents the 25th percentile per- stock performances against the scoring definitions for escapement levels (Table 3). As the lower score of the two nested sub-criteria, this score is also retained as the overall stock status criterion score.

Four stocks in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim fishery received scores of “6” due to eight or more failures in the last 15 years and/or five failures in the last seven years to achieve escapement goal lower bounds. The Kwiniuk River failed both benchmarks and the East Fork Andreafsky was below the lower bound nine times between 1997 and 2011 (Figures 1 and 2).


Figure 1: East Fork Andreafsky River (Yukon Management Area) Chinook salmon escapement estimates and escapement goal lower bounds: 1992-2012 (ADF&G 2004; Volk et al 2009; ADF&G 2011c; ADF&G 2012f; Estensen et al. 2012; Munro and Volk 2012). The two escapement series presented are comprised of weir counts, aimed at complete enumeration of total annual spawning abundance, and standardized peak aerial survey counts that capture indices of annual abundance. The 2012 weir escapement estimate is preliminary, and aerial index estimates are only available through 2010. The sustainable escapement goal (SEG) range established in 2005 reduced the lower benchmark established in 1992 (ADF&G 2004) and the 2005 SEG was altered in 2010 from an aerial index escapement goal to a weir based goal (Volk et al. 2009). Weir based escapement estimates are a more reliable and complete estimate of abundance; however, because the escapement units of measure changed with the 2010 SEG, it is not clear whether the new SEG is indicative of a lower, higher or status quo benchmark relative to the previous goal. While escapement estimates were below the Andreafsky River goal a total on nine times over a 15 year period (1997-2009), and aerial escapement estimates cleared the lower bound of the 2005 SEG only once between 2006 and 2009, the weir-based SEG was achieved in both 2010 and 2011, and was likely met in 2012. It should be noted that aerial surveys in years 1992, 1994, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2009 were documented as being poor quality and escapements were likely underestimated in those years. Variable quality and consistency of aerial surveys are not atypical in many areas of Alaska due to frequent poor weather and unfavorable counting conditions.


Figure 2: Kwiniuk River (Norton Sound Management Area) Chinook salmon escapement estimates vs. the escapement goal lower bound, 1992-2012 (ADF&G 2004; Volk et al 2009; Menard et al 2012; Munro and Volk 2012; ADF&G 2012a). Since the Kwiniuk River Chinook salmon escapement goal was established in 2009, this stock has achieved the lower bound of the goal only four times and escapements have been below the lower bound in six out of the past seven years. The Kwiniuk River stock is not among the Norton Sound stocks that have been designated stocks of concern by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G 2012d); there has been no directed commercial harvest of Chinook salmon in Norton Sound since 2004.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

There are three Sustainable Escapement Goals currently in place for the Bristol Bay Chinook salmon fishery. An additional two goals were in place as of 2012, but were discontinued in the escapement goal review of that year due to lack of funding for adequate escapement monitoring. The three remaining goals are for Chinook salmon of the Nushagak, Alagnak, and Naknek rivers. The Alagnak and Naknek goals are based upon aerial survey monitoring of abundance up until 2008, and the Nushagak goal was established using a yield analysis of sonar counts begun in the 1980s (Fair et al. 2012).

Reference Points

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

The Nushagak stock has met its escapement goal in all of the last 15 years (Jones et al. 2013). The Alagnak and Naknek stocks both missed their goals in the last year for which escapement surveys were conducted (2009) (Munro and Volk 2013).

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Limit reference points (sustainable escapement goals (SEG’s) and biological escapement goals (BEG’s) are established for target stocks, and stock units have undergone significant review within the management agency and have been determined to be scientifically defensible (SCS 2007). However, there does not appear to be evidence of thorough external review. Stock management units are less well defined for Chinook salmon than for other stocks in the Cook Inlet fishery. Stock composition is not specifically estimated. Monitored stocks of Chinook salmon appear to be representative and there is substantial correlation among monitored stocks in Lower Cook Inlet. However, in Upper Cook Inlet, there is less information to determine how well non-indicator stocks are represented. Scientifically defensible productivity estimates have not been derived for many target stocks, and risk assessments on the effects of alternative harvest scenarios considering uncertain productivity of stocks have not been conducted for Lower Cook Inlet. Stock assessment data for Lower Cook Inlet Chinook salmon are sufficient only to allow the establishment of SEGs rather than BEGs. However, fishing pressure is low on these stocks, and this information is considered generally adequate to maintain current productivity of the target stocks. Stock-recruitment data based on run reconstructions is adequate to identify biological or sustainable escapement goals for most Chinook salmon stocks in Upper Cook Inlet (SCS 2007).

As of 2013, there were 21 escapement goals in place for Upper Cook Inlet Chinook salmon and three escapement goals in place for Lower Cook Inlet Chinook salmon (Munro and Volk 2013). There do not appear to be chronic issues with goal lowering in response to missed management objectives, although one goal for the largest river in the management area, the Kenai River (specifically, the goal for Kenai River late-run Chinook salmon) was reduced in late 2012 (Fleischman and McKinley 2013; Shields and Dupuis 2013). This goal was lowered outside of the regular escapement goal review schedule (reviews occur once every three years, with the last one taking place in 2010). However, the change to the goal was associated with a change in the sonar escapement enumeration method for the stock. Management has responded to declining trends in escapement performance with regulatory listing of the most poorly performing stocks (see “Recovery Plans” below) (Fair et al. 2010).

Reference Points

There are 24 stocks with escapement goals in the Cook Inlet district Munro and Volk 2010). Seven A number of stocks in the Upper Cook Inlet have chronically failed to achieve escapement goals over the recent one-and-a-half decades (Munro and Volk 2010, 2015), and are designated Alaska stocks of concern (see recovery section for more detail).had a chronic

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Copper River Chinook are currently managed to achieve a single “Sustainable Escapement Goal” of 24,000 spawners (Fair et al. 2011). A mark-and-recapture program has been used to monitor achievement of the goal since 1999; data from before 1999 consisted of aerial survey indices. Despite the use of a single goal, 49 spawning locations of Chinook salmon have been documented in the Copper River basin, which is quite impressive in light of the compressed run-timing of Copper River stocks (Johnson and Blanche 2011). As a genetic baseline for these 49 sub-stock units has not yet been adequately described, it is unclear whether or not the current management strategy for this fishery adequately protects sub-stock diversity. The fishery is currently managed with the use of two evenly spaced openings per week; closures between the openings are intended to allow adequate passage of all sub-stocks of sockeye and Chinook salmon (Templin et al. 2011; Botz et al. 2012). Stock identification work has been underway since 2005, and is expected to be completed before the 2013 fishing season (ADF&G Cordova Office 2012, pers. comm. 8 Oct).

Despite the fact that the escapement goal put into place in 2003 has not been lowered since (i.e. over the past ten years including the 2012 fishing season), the fishery receives a “7” for this criterion in accordance with the Marine Stewardship Council’s 2007 rating of “75” for Performance Indicator 1.1.3.2 – Target Reference Points (Table 2).

Reference Points

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

A score of “7” was awarded on Sub-Criterion 4.1 (Escapement) due to the Upper Copper River stock’s five failures to achieve its escapement goal lower bound in the last 15 years (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Upper Copper River Chinook salmon escapement estimates (1999-2010) and indices (1992-1998) vs. the escapement goal lower bound, 1992-2010. The stock has missed the lower bound of its escapement goal range five times in the last 15 years. Two of those misses have occurred in the past seven years.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Reference Points

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

Alaska

Fisheries are managed to achieve escapement goals for 11 Chinook salmon-bearing watersheds. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (CDFO) have coordinated efforts in monitoring and estimating the optimal range of escapements to the Taku, Stikine, and Alsek rivers, the primary-production watersheds of the management area (Der Hovanisian et al. 2011). Moderate production comes from Behm Canal rivers (Unuk, Chickamin, Blossom and Keta rivers), and the Chilkat, Situk, Andrews and King Salmon Rivers are smaller producers.

All eleven escapement goals have undergone review both within ADF&G and by the Pacific Salmon Commission Chinook Technical Committee.

Reference Points

Escapement goals have been fairly consistently met by the 11 Southeast Alaska indicator stocks over the last 15 years, but six of the eleven goals were missed in 2012, part of general poor returns among Alaskan Chinook salmon stocks (Munro and Volk 2013). The Alsek and Situk Rivers have missed four escapement goals since 2005, with the Situk missing four out of the last five years.

Alaska/PSC

Coast-wide management relies on the Chinook model, a well-reviewed analytical method of tracing the harvests of Chinook salmon stocks through the fisheries. Hatchery contribution methods are also well documented and accepted.

The Chinook model has been the main analytical tool of the Chinook Technical Committee (CTC) since negotiations began in the early 1980s (see CTC 1986 for early assessment of rebuilding program). The model program (written in Quick Basic) was fully documented by the CTC Analysis Work Group (1991), and subsequent modifications have been documented in the annual exploitation rate analysis and model calibration reports of the CTC. Currently there are 25 fisheries and 30 stocks or stock groups in the model. Model outputs include exploitation rate indices, survival rate estimates, Abundance Indices for aggregate abundance-based management fisheries, incidental mortality estimates, and stock composition estimates for fisheries.

The process for calculating the Alaska hatchery add-on and statistical basis for the risk adjustment factor was documented in a series of papers (Clark and Bernard 1987; ADF&G 1991; Bernard and Clark 1991). The CTC reviewed these procedures (CTC 1992) and concluded that although the statistical foundation of the add-on is sound, a number of assumptions need to be verified. Furthermore, the CTC noted that directing more effort towards spring stocks could increase harvest pressure on stocks comingled with these hatchery stocks. The PSC has nevertheless accepted the add-on documentation since its inception.

Reference Points

The trends in escapements of the largest contributing stocks to the Southeast Alaska troll fishery vary, and there are some geographic clusters of declines. Of the 10 stock groups which contribute to more than 1% of the troll catch or greater than 5% of the total harvest that occurs in the fishery, four showed declining trends, but no trends were greater than 5% per year. The average trend in escapements was a 0.7% increase per year in 1999–2011.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 17 July 2008

Stock status is assessed based on multi-year escapement trends and performance against escapement goals (see synopsis under reference point section and more detailed information under district profiles). There are a number of stocks of regulatory concern in the AYK, Cook Inlet, and Kodiak districts.  See "Recovery Plan" section for more detail.

Trends

Last updated on 17 Jul 2008

Chinook harvests by the commercial fishery in Alaska have not varied much over the past 90 years, with the last ten decadal averages ranging from about 600,000 to 800,000 Chinook salmon. On the other hand, significant use of Chinook salmon in Alaska occurs in sport and subsistence fisheries and those harvests have increased substantially. In several areas of Alaska, Chinook harvests in the commercial fishery are restricted to provide for other users. Harvest declines in the last few years related to fishery curtailment in response to depressed stock status are visible in Figure 2.


Figure 2: Historic Alaska Chinook salmon statewide harvest and overall catch value, 1878-2012 (http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=commercialbyfisherysalmon.salmoncatch#/Chinook).

The FishSource method examines 15-year trends in wild stock harvest at the district fishery scale. Meaningful (≥5%) annual declines in wild harvest are visible in the Arctic Yukon Kuskokwim fishery and in the Copper River fishery.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Stock status is assessed based on multi-year escapement trends and performance against escapement goals (see synopsis under reference point section). Alaska's Policy for the Managment of Sustainable Salmon Fisheries guides designation of concern status for poorly performing fish stocks. In the AYK, Yukon River and Norton Sound (districts 4 & 5) Chinook salmon stocks are formally designated stocks of yield concern, the lowest of three posible levels of concern (ADF&G 2012d). See "Recovery Plan" section for more detail.

Trends

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

A score of “8” was awarded on Sub-Criterion 4.2 due an overall decreasing wild yield trend for Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim salmon over the past 15 years (1997-2011). Using the method of Geiger and Zhang (2002), wild harvest in the Arctic-Yukon Kuskokwim Chinook salmon fishery decreased at an average annual rate of 6%. Declining catch trends for Alaska Chinook salmon are not unique to the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Region; rates are roughly the same as for Copper River Chinook salmon in Central Alaska, and just 2% more than for Yakutat Chinook salmon near Southeast Alaska (Figure 5). The rate is about 5% different than for Cook Inlet in Central Alaska, where Chinook salmon stocks showed a slight average increase in harvest. Over the past decade, Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim area Chinook salmon stocks have been the subject of moderate to severe commercial fishery restrictions to allow for escapement and subsistence priorities.


Figure 3: Comparison of wild Chinook salmon harvest trends between the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Region and the Copper River, Yakutat and Cook Inlet Management Areas using the method of Geiger and Zhang (2002). Years in sequence: 1997-2011. Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Region data is taken from ADF&G 2011 season summaries, Brazil et al 2011 (p. 67), Estensen et al 2012 (p. 150) and Menard et al 2012 (p. 106). Copper River harvest data is taken from Botz et al. (2012, Appendix A4) and the ADF&G Prince William Sound post season summary (ADF&G 2012j). Yakutat harvest data is taken from the annual Yakutat set net management report series (ADF&G Various Authors, 2007-2012, Table E3). Cook Inlet wild harvest data is derived from the Alaska Enhancement Annual Report Series for 1997-2011 (1998-2012, Table 5).

The overall score for the Stock Status Criterion 4 is “6” reflecting the lower of the two sub-criterion scores which was awarded to sub-criterion 4.1.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Stock status is assessed based on multi-year escapement trends and performance against escapement goals (see synopsis under reference point section). There are no Chinook salmons stocks of concern in the Bristol Bay district.

Trends

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

Chinook salmon harvests in 2012 were below recent 20-year averages in all districts but one. The 2012 baywide commercial harvest of 17,000 Chinook salmon was well below the 20-year average of 67,000 fish (Jones et al. 2013).

Despite this, Bristol Bay Chinook salmon harvest has exhibited a 2% annual increasing trend in 1998-2012 when the regression method of Geiger and Zhang (2002) is applied (Jones et al. 2013).

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Stock status is assessed based on multi-year escapement trends and performance against escapement goals (see synopsis under reference point section).). There are a number of stocks of regulatory concern in the Cook Inlet district.  See "Recovery Plan" section for more detail.

Trends

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

The 2012 Upper Cook Inlet commercial Chinook salmon harvest of 2,526 fish was the smallest since 1966, approximately 85% less than the previous 10-year average annual harvest. Harvest declines are attributable to decreased abundance and subsequent conservation restrictions placed on the fishery.

Despite the very low harvest of 2012, when the robust regression analysis of Geiger and Zhang (2002) is applied to Cook Inlet wild Chinook salmon harvest over the last 15 years (1998-2012), harvest has held steady, with no increase or decrease (0% annual growth) (AK annual enhancement reports 1999-2013).

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Stock status is assessed based on multi-year escapement trends and performance against escapement goals (see synopsis under reference point section). The Copper River stock is not considered a stock of concern under Alaska policy.

Trends

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

A score of “7” was awarded on Sub-Criterion 4.2 due to the 6% annual rate of decline (as a percent of year zero) among Copper River Chinook over the past 15 years (1997-2011). While one of two neighboring regions analyzed (Yakutat) also exhibited declines (Figure 2), suggesting that ocean conditions are involved, only the Copper River stock exceeded the 5% meaningful decline threshold. It is noted that management is exercising precautionary harvest strategies, particularly as detailed for the 2010 season in Botz et al. (2012).


Figure 2: Comparison of wild Chinook salmon harvest trends between the Copper District and the neighboring regions of Cook Inlet and Yakutat using the method of Geiger and Zhang (2002). Years in sequence: 1997-2011. Copper River harvest data is taken from Botz et al. (2012, Appendix A4). Yakutat harvest data is taken from the annual Yakutat set net management report series (ADF&G Various Authors, 2007-2012, Table E3). Cook Inlet wild harvest data is derived from the Alaska Enhancement Annual Report Series for 1997-2011 (1998-2012, Table 5).

Alaska

Stock status is assessed based on multi-year escapement trends and performance against escapement goals (see synopsis under reference point section). None of the Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon stocks are considered stocks of concern under Alaska policy.  

Alaska/PSC

Stock status is assessed based on multi-year escapement and harvest trends and abundance modeling. See synopses under Reference Points, Trends and Recovery sections.  

Trends

Wild Harvest Trends

The wild component of the troll catch has been relatively stable in 1999–2011, exhibiting a 4% annual increase over those years (Figure 2). However, target catches are set in PSC negotiations and a number of other criteria determine catch levels, including harvest- sharing considerations.


Figure 2: Wild harvest trends in the Southeast Alaska Chinook troll fishery, 1999–2011. Using the robust regression method of Geiger and Zhang (2002), an annual rate of increase of 4% was detected. Hatchery contributions to harvest, which were subtracted from total harvest, included estimates of untagged hatchery fish.

Emerging Issues

The 2013 preseason, all-gear, allowable catch for Southeast Alaska is 176,000 fish, 90,000 fish lower than the 2012 target catch and the second lowest target catch dating back to 1999 (CTC 2012a; ADF&G 2013b). Recent modifications in preseason estimation of the Abundance Index (Carlile, pers communication) and lower abundance of Chinook salmon stocks contributing to Alaskan fisheries are responsible for the lower target catch. Reduced harvest in the Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon troll fishery is occurring amidst a backdrop of statewide concern regarding the health of Chinook stocks. ADF&G has prepared a research plan intended to fill gaps in current knowledge of stock status and dynamics in order to explore reasons for declines noted among multiple Alaskan Chinook salmon stocks (ADF&G 2013c).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 9 March 2016

In-Season Management Responsiveness

The Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim fishery has historically ranked second behind Southeast Alaska in terms of Chinook salmon harvest volume. However, in recent seasons, it has ranked fourth or fifth due to meaningful declines in returns. Chinook salmon commercial harvests in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Region are guided by an adaptive management strategy. In addition to pre-season forecasting, there is extensive in-season monitoring to assess Chinook salmon run strength and timing throughout the three nested management areas. Annually, commercial fishing activities are initiated, altered, and restricted based on information from these assessment projects. Poor runs over the past decade have prompted many commercial fishing closures; there have been no directed commercial fisheries in the Norton Sound Management Area for the past eight years. Both the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers were closed to commercial fishing of Chinook salmon in 2012. There were also substantial restrictions to subsistence fisheries and commercial sockeye and chum fisheries in order to conserve Chinook salmon.

The Southeast Alaska troll salmon fishery is a “mixture pool management fishery,” which means that it is managed predominantly on the basis of a catch limit set in the pre-season. In 1999-2011, the actual catch has exceeded the “post-season catch limit” in 9 of 13 years (1999-2011), and the cumulative overage and underage amounted to 23% of the annual average catch limit for those years.

Multi-Season Management Responsiveness

9 of 11 salmon stocks that have regulatory Stock of Concern status granted by the Alaska Board of Fisheries are Chinook salmon stocks. Six of those stocks are located in Upper Cook Inlet, and were listed during the 2010-2011 Board of Fisheries regulatory cycle. Commercial harvest is generally considered to be secondary relative to sport fishing pressure on these stocks; however, due to the mixed stock nature of the Upper Cook inlet commercial fisheries, actual stock-specific harvest numbers are unknown. Regulatory actions in response to the stock of concern designations include expanded area closures for the commercial fisheries as well as greater time and area sport fishing restrictions.

Two of the other three listed stocks are located in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region – the Yukon River and Norton Sound (districts 4 & 5) Chinook salmon stocks are formally designated stocks of yield concern. Recovery action plans for the Yukon River stocks have continued to develop after initial implementation in 2001 and significant fishery restrictions have been applied, including commercial and subsistence fishery delays, commercial fishery closures in low run years, reduced schedules for subsistence fisheries, in-season management strategies, and practices to reduce incidental harvest of Chinook salmon in commercial chum salmon fisheries. Action plans implemented for affected Norton Sound stocks beginning in 2004 have included emergency closures of subsistence fisheries, reduced bag limits for sport fisheries, reductions to commercial fishing schedules, use of in-season run strength monitoring to determine commercial fishery openings, and restrictions on gillnet mesh size.

Kuskokwim River stocks have generally fared better than the Norton Sound and Yukon River stocks in terms of achieving escapement goals, and were delisted as stocks of concern in 2007 in response to improved return sizes. Run abundance in subsequent years declined again to below average levels; though renewed stock of concern status is not being recommended for Kuskokwim River Chinook salmon based on the evidence that escapement goals are too high for several of the most poorly performing stocks and that recent drainage-wide escapements have not been below sustainable levels (ADF&G 2012d).

Management Responsiveness to Habitat Issues

ADF&G has a division devoted to permitting and monitoring the use of freshwater habitat. The agency has a record of altering or halting projects that may diminish salmon habitat.

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

Action plans focused upon recovery of nine Chinook salmon stocks with regulatory listings are currently being implemented. Six of these stocks are located in Upper Cook Inlet, two stocks in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) region, and one stock in the Kodiak region.

The two listed AYK stocks have held regulatory status for over a decade, a rarity in the very successful Alaska regulatory listing process. It is possible that management effectiveness in attaining escapement goals is being hampered by environmental conditions for some Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim spawning stocks. Furthermore, Chinook salmon in the AYK region are impacted by bycatch in pollock fisheries that take place in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

As for Cook Inlet, depressed stocks in this district are exposed to significant, non-commercial harvest impacts including sport fishing pressure and, in the case of one stock, predation on juvenile Chinook salmon by illegally introduced Northern pike. However, the mixed stock nature and lack of stock identification in the commercial fisheries renders the estimation of true commercial harvest impacts on these individual stocks, as well as total run size, impossible to achieve comprehensively.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is in the process of assessing stock assessment data gaps and outlining research priorities necessary to improve understanding of recent Chinook salmon abundance trends.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Chinook salmon commercial harvests in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Region are guided by an adaptive management strategy. In addition to pre-season forecasting, there is extensive in-season monitoring to assess Chinook salmon run strength and timing throughout the three management areas.Annually, commercial fishing activities are initiated, altered, and restricted based on information from these assessment projects (ADF&G 2012a, 2012b, 2012f; Brazil et a. 2011; Estensen et al 2012; Menard et al 2012). Poor runs over the past decade have prompted many commercial fishing closures; there have been no directed commercial fisheries in the Norton Sound Management Area for the past eight years (ADF&G 2012b).Both the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers were closed to commercial fishing of Chinook salmon in 2012.There were also substantial restrictions to subsistence fisheries and commercial sockeye and chum fisheries in order to conserve Chinook salmon (ADF&G 2012e).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

Yukon River and Norton Sound (districts 4 & 5) Chinook salmon stocks are formally designated stocks of yield concern (ADF&G 2012d).Recovery action plans for the Yukon River stocks have continued to develop after initial implementation in 2001 and significant fishery restrictions have been applied, including commercial and subsistence fishery delays, commercial fishery closures in low run years, reduced schedules for subsistence fisheries, in-season management strategies, and practices to reduce incidental harvest of Chinook salmon in commercial chum salmon fisheries (Howard et al. 2009). Action plans implemented for affected Norton Sound stocks beginning in 2004 have included emergency closures of subsistence fisheries, reduced bag limits for sport fisheries, reductions to commercial fishing schedules, use of in-season run strength monitoring to determine commercial fishery openings, and restrictions on gillnet mesh size (Kent and Bergstrom 2009). Kuskokwim River stocks have generally fared better than the Norton Sound and Yukon River stocks in terms of achieving escapement goals, and were delisted as stocks of concern in 2007 in response to improved return sizes (Brazil et al. 2011).Run abundance in subsequent years declined again to below average levels (Estensen et al. 2009); though renewed stock of concern status is not being recommended for Kuskokwim River Chinook salmon, based on the evidence that escapement goals are too high for several of the most poorly performing stocks and that recent drainage-wide escapements have not been below sustainable levels (ADF&G 2012d).

Last updated on 9 March 2016

In-season management actions are taken in order to achieve objectives for Chinook stocks, including spatial and temporal closures and mesh restrictions (Jones et al. 2013).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

There are no Chinook salmon stocks of concern in Bristol Bay.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Fishing pressure is managed in-season through the emergency order system, whereby area managers specify spatial and temporal openings and closures on the basis of pre-season forecast, test fishing, commercial Catch Per Unit Effort, and other information. Particularly harsh restrictions were imposed in 2012 in response to historic low returns. These restrictions were very controversial as the Kenai Peninsula is Alaska’s most important sport fishery for salmon (Shields and Dupuis 2013).

The U.S. Department of Commerce issued a resource disaster designation for the Cook Inlet Chinook salmon fishery on September 13, 2012. The government cited revenue losses of up to 90 percent of historical averages in some components of the Cook Inlet fishery (Dischner 2012).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 09 Mar 2016

During the 2010-2011 Board of Fisheries regulatory cycle, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) recommended stock of concern status for six (four stocks of management concern and two stocks of yield concern) Upper Cook Inlet Chinook salmon stocks (ADF&G 2010). A seventh stock was designated in 2013 (ADF&G 2015). Commercial harvest is generally considered to be secondary relative to sport fishing pressure on these stocks; however, due to the mixed stock nature of the Upper Cook inlet commercial fisheries, actual stock-specific harvest numbers are unknown. Regulatory actions in response to the stock of concern designations include expanded area closures for the commercial fisheries as well as greater time and area sport fishing restrictions (BOF 2011).

No new action plans have been put into place yet as part of the regulatory listing process, but in 2012 the Upper Cook Inlet Board of Fisheries Task Force was created to review the Kenai River Late-Run Chinook Salmon Management Plan. The goal of the Task Force was to review allocations and management of the sport and commercial fisheries that target the stock, and propose changes to the plan that would better ensure that escapement goals are met in seasons of low abundance. A list of recommendations was prepared and reviewed by the Alaska Board of Fisheries, but for now only the escapement goal change for the late-run Kenai River stock has been implemented (Shields and Dupuis 2013).

Otherwise, the stock of concern listing resulted in restrictions being imposed during the 2012 fishing season through the existing Northern District King Salmon Management Plan. Imposed restrictions included seasonal and temporal closures of Chinook salmon sport and commercial set gillnet fisheries, as well as 50% reductions in Northern District commercial openings (12-hour openings were reduced to 6-hour openings). Closures also continued into the sockeye salmon fishing season, which follows directly after the Chinook salmon fishing season (Shields and Dupuis 2013).

Alaska

Salmon fisheries in Southeast Alaska all involve transboundary issues to some extent due to the region’s proximity to Canada and harvest of stocks that originate in Canada (and, in some cases, the Pacific Northwest USA).

U.S. and Canadian gillnet Chinook salmon fisheries targeting fish from the transboundary Taku and Stikine Rivers are managed under the umbrella of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, with new provision governing catch sharing of these fisheries in place since 2009 and through 2018. The decision of whether or not to open these fisheries is made on the basis of pre-season forecasts of run strength (TTC 2011). Fish harvested in these fisheries is separate from “all-gear quota” that the Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC) provides annually to Alaska, which governs the amount of Chinook salmon that can be harvested in the troll and other fisheries that harvest Chinook salmon in Southeast Alaska. The PSC all-gear quota is divided between gear groups based on allocation guidelines decided by the Alaska Board of Fisheries. In 2011, 4.3% of the quota was allocated to the purse seine fleet, 2.9% to the drift gillnet fleet, and 1,000 fish to the Yakutat set gillnet fleet. 80% of the remaining quota is allocated to the troll fleet and 20% to recreational fishery. This allocation formula has changed little over the last decade.

Recovery Plans

There are no Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon stocks of concern under Alaska policy.

Alaska/PSC

In-Season Responsiveness

The Abundance Index currently provides the best measure of the overall Chinook salmon abundance in the troll fishery. Management employs a number of tools to monitor the abundance of both wild stocks and Alaska hatchery fish to achieve this target catch. The postseason assessment of abundance compares well to preseason estimates.

The cumulative overage and underage in 1999-2011 amounted to 23% of the annual average catch limit for those years and adjustments are not made in following years for overages and underages.

Responsiveness to Habitat Issues

Alaska management, together with a number of conservation groups, has provided constructive input to a number of transboundary river mining projects that are still in the planning stage. Acceptance of these suggestions will be known only when the projects are in their full exploitation phase. However the scale of potential development in the headwaters of the Stikine River is of concern, as is the failure of the Canadian Government to enforce permit requirements. Also, the failure of the Alaska Legislature to renew the Coastal Zone Management Program decreases the opportunity for review of coastal development projects. In southern British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, where many Alaska troll Chinook salmon originate, habitat restoration is strongly supported by a number of state, national and international agencies, with literally thousands of habitat renewal projects being completed and hundreds of more continuing.

Recovery Plans

None of the major stock groups in the Alaska troll fishery failed to achieve their escapement goals for a 6-year period. However three of the stocks in the Washington coastal stock group did fail to achieve agency goals during a 6-year period (Quillayute summer, Hoko fall, and Queets spring/summer stocks). A number of stocks that are only minor contributors to the Alaskan fisheries had consistently poor escapements. So far, all of these stocks are meeting PSC criteria for rebuilding. The PSC has a well-defined process to address failures to meet escapement goals for stocks of concern.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 9 March 2016

ADF&G has an extensive fish-ticket reporting system, with compliance monitoring and criminal penalties for intentional misreporting. Harvest controls are judged “precise and effective” by the 2007 MSC assessment authors. Enforcement, fleet education, and engagement of fishers in management objectives are all strong, and no systemic violations are noted.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

There is an effective system in place to enforce regulations, monitor objectives and report results of the fishery. Illegal fishing is not a significant problem.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

There is effective enforcement of regulations, monitoring of fishery objectives and reporting of results. Illegal fishing is not a significant problem (SCS 2007).

Last updated on 9 March 2016

There is effective enforcement of regulations, monitoring of fishery objectives and reporting of results. Illegal fishing is not a significant problem.

Alaska

All commercial harvest is required to be reported on fish tickets when sold to a processor or when processed at sea. Strict oversight by Alaska Wildlife Protection and ADF&G ensures that the vast majority of catch is correctly reported. Compliance with personal use catch reporting is not monitored but thought to be minor.

Alaska/PSC

Landed catch in the Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon troll is recorded on fish tickets. Fish tickets include date of landing, area (subdistrict) of catch, and number and weight of Chinook salmon landed. Processors submit fish tickets to ADF&G staff, sometimes on a daily basis, and data are entered into the statewide database. All catch sold is recorded on a fish ticket. 

HATCHERY IMPACTS

Hatchery culture of Chinook salmon entails long-term freshwater rearing, and is therefore a more complicated endeavor than hatchery culture of pink or chum salmon. Activities are largely limited to Southeast Alaska to support Pacific Salmon Treaty-regulated recreational and troll fisheries. Overall Alaskan releases of Chinook salmon from hatcheries have held fairly steady over the last two decades (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Alaska hatchery releases of sockeye, coho, and Chinook salmon, 1982-2012.

It is estimated that about 15% of the Southeast Alaska troll catch consists of local, Alaskan hatchery fish. Meanwhile, the estimated hatchery contribution for Canadian and Southern U.S. hatcheries to the troll fishery has averaged 43.5% over 1999-2011. In the peak year of hatchery contribution to the fishery (2005), hatchery fish comprised over 60% of the troll harvest. However, the accuracy of these estimates is undermined by problems with the coast-wide Coded Wire Tag monitoring system. Since the 1990s, southern US hatcheries have been releasing hatchery fish with an adipose fin clip but no Coded Wire Tag, or with a Tag but no adipose fin clip. The fin clips are intended to allow for recognition of hatchery fish by sport fishermen, who retain only hatchery fish in order to promote wild spawning. However, the selective removal of clipped fish in interceptive fisheries impacts both the precision of hatchery contributions to Alaskan fisheries and exploitation rate analysis.

Straying of hatchery fish into wild spawning areas in Southeast Alaska is minimal and has been estimated at 0.28-0.3% of fish sampled in wild stock systems.

Another consideration in evaluating the hatchery influence on troll fishery management is the “Alaska hatchery add-on.” The add-on was initiated in 1985 to mitigate for some of the reductions in catch levels resulting from the Pacific Salmon Treaty. It consists of a separately-managed troll fishery opening in June that is intended to target Alaska-origin hatchery fish. The hatchery add-on has averaged about 24,000 fish from 1999-2011. As a result of the add-on system, the Alaska hatchery component of the catch is treated entirely separately from the catch of all other stocks in the catch. This results in about 11% higher catches in the troll fishery. ADF&G manages the fishery to maximize harvest of Alaska hatchery-origin fish by focusing effort in areas and times of high hatchery abundance. However, this may increase harvest rates on wild stocks that are also abundant in the spring fisheries and it also results in shortening of the subsequent general summer troll fishery, increasing incidental mortality rates.

Hatcheries

There are no enhancement activities in the AYK region with potential to impact wild stock targets (SCS 2007).

Hatcheries

There is no hatchery production of Chinook salmon in Bristol Bay.

Hatchery programs for Chinook salmon in Cook Inlet are minimal (they contributed <1% of the commercial harvest in 2011 and 2011) and primarily focused on sport fisheries (Vercessi 2013). Wild stock impacts from hatchery programs in Lower Cook Inlet are likely mitigated for by the terminal nature of the hatchery fisheries and partially segregated hatchery programs (SCS 2007). Mark and recapture studies in regional streams have identified no Chinook salmon straying.

Enhancement projects in Upper Cook Inlet are limited and aimed generally at optimizing sport harvest opportunities for urban anglers and mitigating pressure on small wild stocks. Goals and objectives for wild stocks for the most part drive harvest guidelines in fisheries simultaneously capturing wild and hatchery stocks. Interactions between hatchery and wild stocks cannot be dismissed, but there appears to be adequate effort toward assessing those impacts (SCS 2007).

 There is no hatchery production of Chinook salmon in the Copper basin.

Alaska

Approximately 36% of the non-troll commercial harvest of Chinook salmon in Southeast Alaska in 2011 was of hatchery origin (ACWTLD 2011; Vercessi 2012).

Alaska hatchery production in Southeast Alaska is coordinated through regional planning teams organized by ADF&G. Early hatchery operations date back to 1898. From the beginning of modern hatchery operations in Alaska in 1971, hatcheries were built to increase catches in Alaskan fisheries, not mitigate habitat loss due to human activities. As described in ADF&G’s 1983 Chinook Salmon Plan, the hatchery program was designed to minimize impacts on wild stocks through consideration of site and stock selection (Holland et al. 1983). Hatchery sites, remote release sites and brood stocks were selected to minimize the chance of returning hatchery stocks mixing with wild stocks. No hatcheries were built on streams with natural runs of Chinook salmon. Most hatcheries are located on or near tidewater on islands and most are 50 to 240 km from any endemic Chinook salmon stock. The 1983 Plan also delineated “sensitive” and “non-sensitive” zones as pertains to the movement of brood stock from one river to another for use in hatchery projects. In “sensitive” zones, which contain wild spawning populations, new stock needs must be met with the closest feasible stock, and use of brood stock from other locations is limited (Holland et al. 1983). ADF&G’s genetic policy also prohibits the planting of hatchery-spawned Chinook salmon offspring of wild brood stock beyond the F1 generation back into their stream or origin to avoid introgression of genes that may have been altered through domestication into wild population allele frequencies. Straying is minimal. Heard et al. (1995) examined wild stocks for coded wire tags and reported that 0.3% of fish examined in wild stock systems were strays from hatcheries. Additional studies have confirmed that a small (0.28%) number of salmon found in wild stocks are of hatchery origin.

Year-to-year identification of hatchery fish in the harvest relies upon coded wire tagging and tag recoveries.

A team of hatchery personnel from private, state, and federal facilities and ADF&G fishery managers review hatchery operations each year and the contribution of these releases to Alaskan fisheries (see Pryor et al. 2005). At this meeting, research into the biology of hatchery and wild salmon stocks and evaluation of new proposed enhancement projects takes place with the goal of ensuring that regional enhancement efforts meet statewide goals for hatchery operations. The overriding criterion in the evaluation of hatchery projects is whether or not projects “enhance the salmon fishery in Southeast Alaska while minimizing the impact of enhancement on wild stocks” (see Duckett et al. 2010).

 

Alaska/PSC

Both Alaskan hatchery-produced Chinook salmon and production from hatcheries outside of Alaska contribute significant numbers of fish to the troll harvest. The target catches obtained each year by the CTC for mixture pool management fisheries are based on the preseason abundance index and subsequently revised by the postseason abundance index, which has incorporated another year of catch and escapement data in the model. The abundance index is a function of the overall abundance of wild stocks and some Canadian and Southern U.S. hatchery stocks in Southeast Alaskan waters. It is estimated that about 15% of the troll catch consists of Robertson Creek hatchery fish and another 7% of the catch consists of Chinook salmon from Washington hatchery releases. Estimates of hatchery fish in the troll catch can also be derived by expanding coded wire tag recoveries by the catch and tagging fractions. These estimates provide a more detailed analysis of contributions by hatchery, stock, and release site. The estimated hatchery contribution for Canadian and Southern U.S. hatcheries has averaged 43.5% over the last 13 years, which compares well with Chinook model estimates. Thus, the model is adequately accounting for hatchery fish and is able to focus on wild stock abundance in setting the target catch for the Alaska troll fishery. However, hatchery run strength does influence the abundance index, and therefore the target catch.

Although some genetic studies have been conducted on Southeast Alaska troll catches to identify catch composition, and a coast-wide database of allozyme genetic markers to identify the genetic stock composition of Chinook salmon populations is being expanded (Crane et al. 1996, Crane et al, 2000, and Templin et al. 2011), year-to-year identification of both hatchery and wild stocks relies on coded wire tag (CWT) recoveries. Since the 1960s, the various jurisdictions (federal, provincial, state, tribal, private) operating hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest USA, British Columbia and Alaska have been using CWT methods coded wire tags for monitoring programs associated with the management of hatcheries and salmon fisheries since the 1960s. Coded wire tags are inserted into the nasal cartilage of juvenile fish before release from hatcheries. They bear decimal codes specific to the hatchery of release and brood year or batch. The presence of a coded wire tag in a fish is either visually identified by a missing adipose fin or detected through the use of metal detectors such as handheld wands.

The catch and escapement of coded wire tag releases is the main input into the Chinook model. Alaska also uses coded wire tag data to estimate the Alaska hatchery contribution to its fisheries and calculate the hatchery add-on. Wild-stock tagging programs are used to more precisely monitor the distribution of wild stocks in the catches and estimate the productivity of these Chinook salmon systems. Specifically, coded wire tagging allows for evaluation of hatchery contributions to catch, smolt to adult survival rates, spawner abundance on spawning grounds, and other important parameters for the assessment of hatchery program effectiveness and ecological impacts. Coded wire tag technology has also been used to study the population attributes of wild stocks of all species of salmon and steelhead trout. While thermal otolith and genetic methods have been devised since the 1960s and have advantages over coded wire tags, coded wire tagging continues to be an important component of monitoring programs due to ability of the tags to carry specific codes (i.e., the detailed nature of the method), as well as the presence of a historical record of coded wire tags data going back over 40 years. Coded wire tags are particularly important for Chinook and coho [CH1] salmon fisheries of the greater Pacific region.

Before coded wire tagging came into practice, adipose fin clipping was used to distinguish between hatchery and wild fish. Coded wire tagging has some distinct advantages over fin clipping: namely, fins can regenerate if clipping is not done precisely, and fin clips do not carry any information other than the fish was marked. In 1977 the Pacific northwest region reserved the adipose clip as a unique mark to identify coded wire tagged Chinook and coho salmon, and in 1978 included chum, pink, and sockeye salmon and steelhead in this agreement. However, beginning in the late 1990s, fin clipping with no inserted coded wire tag has returned to practice in the region through the organization of “selective” fisheries. In selective sport fisheries, fishers can distinguish between hatchery and wild fish on the basis of the presence or absence of the adipose fin, and must retain only hatchery-origin fish, throwing back any wild fish to allow them to successfully spawn. Oregon was the first region to enact selective fisheries, and other fisheries in Washington and British Columbia have since followed suit (Nandor et al. 2009).

 In 1994, a review of the potential impact of this approach was conducted by the PSC (PSC 1995), which recommended that selective fisheries for Chinook salmon should not be considered at that time. Impacts explored in the study included higher incidental mortality in selective fisheries and loss of precision in coded wire tagging monitoring programs. By 1998, Chinook salmon mass marking and selective fisheries were being proposed for Puget Sound and some Oregon coastal stocks (SFEC 1999). Little has been done to address potential impacts of selective fisheries on stock assessment programs and costs of sampling programs. The release of millions of Chinook salmon with an adipose clip but no coded wire tag or with a coded wire tag but no adipose clip, and the selective removal of clipped fish in interceptive fisheries has impacted the management and stock assessment of the Alaska troll fishery, and prompted ADF&G to express concerns over the cost to process thousands of Chinook salmon heads without coded wire tags (SFEC 2013). The magnitude of the increase in clipped fish with no coded wire tag is dramatic (Figure 1). The difficulty of analyzing coded wire tag data where some fish are tagged and clipped (and will be harvested in selective fisheries at a greater rate than their unclipped cohorts), some fish are just clipped and removed selectively in some fisheries and not others, some fish are not clipped but contain a coded wire tag which is detected in some fisheries but not others, and the untagged and unclipped fish which are used in the escapement to measure overall production of the stock is daunting and may affect the Chinook model results. Add to this the complexity of multiple age classes returning and possibly being vulnerable to different fisheries in multiple years, and the potential impact on Chinook model results is evident.

*Figure 1:* The number of tags recovered and clipped fish recovered with no tags, 1999-2012 (CTC 2012a).

From 1999 – 2011, an average of about 29% of the troll catch was comprised of coded wire tagged releases of hatchery fish from Canadian and U.S. hatcheries (Figure 2). In some years hatchery Chinook salmon accounted for over a third of the catch, with Alaskan hatchery fish being the most abundant in the catch, closely followed by Washington, Oregon, and Idaho fish, and then by Canadian fish. Over these 13 years, the contribution from Canadian hatcheries has decreased substantially from peak catches in 2004 and some decreased contribution from southern U.S. hatcheries was also observed. These estimates do not include clipped but untagged releases, principally from Washington and Canadian hatcheries and intended for selective fisheries. In recent years, roughly half of the hatchery releases were not represented by coded wire tagged fish. If the number of tagged hatchery fish are expanded over the number of hatchery releases that are not represented by a tag code, the percent of hatchery fish in the Alaska troll fishery increases to almost one-third in recent years, and to 60% in 2005 (Figure 3).


Figure 2: Estimated hatchery contribution of Chinook salmon to the Alaska troll fishery (Data are from the Alaska Coded Wire Tag Lab Database: http:/tagotoweb.adfg.state.Ak.US/CWT/report/ accessed 15 February 2013). Estimates of the quantity of hatchery fish without coded wire tags are not included.

Figure 3: Estimated hatchery contribution of Chinook salmon to the Alaska troll fishery, including both coded wire tagged fish and estimates of untagged hatchery fish (CTC 2012b and data from the Regional Mark Processing Center: hhtp://www.rmp.org/ accessed 6 March 2013). Untagged fish from British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest US are indicated by thatched bars (vertical for the Pacific Northwest and diagonal for British Columbia). Untagged Alaskan releases are too small to appear. Tagged releases are indicated with block colors (blue for Alaska, red for British Columbia, and green for the Pacific Northwest US). In comparison with Figure 2, annual hatchery contribution to the fishery rises by 50-100% when estimates of untagged releases are included. 

The total release of Chinook salmon from contributing hatcheries has averaged about 65 million juvenile (fry, fingerlings, and smolts) Chinook salmon annually in 1999 – 2012 (Figure 4). Production from Alaska hatcheries has declined from peak releases of 2009. Production for Canadian and other U.S. hatcheries has also declined from the total release of 78 million fish in 2000. However, hatcheries coast-wide are continuing to produce millions of out-migrating juvenile Chinook salmon and contributions to the troll fishery are expected to comprise a significant percent of the catch.


Figure 4: Number of Chinook salmon released from west coast hatcheries in millions of juvenile salmon, 1999-2012. Releases from only those hatcheries which contributed 0.5% or more to Alaska troll catch from 1999-2011 are shown. Tagged and untagged releases are included.

A somewhat unique aspect of the Alaska troll fishery target catch is the Alaska hatchery add-on. The add-on was initiated in 1985 to mitigate for some of the reductions in catch levels resulting from the PST. The add-on is defined as the estimated contribution of Alaska hatchery Chinook salmon to Southeast Alaska catches minus 5,000 fish and a risk adjustment factor. 5,000 fish was the base level of hatchery contributions when the catch ceilings were first established, and the risk adjustment factor is based on sampling variability associated with tagging and sampling rates. The risk adjustment factor is set at a 1 in 20 chance that the true value of the hatchery contribution is actually less than the estimated contribution. The CTC reviewed the add-on procedures (CTC 1992) and, while it concluded that the statistical methods employed for troll fishery mixed-stock catches appeared satisfactory given certain assumptions, the Committee also expressed concerns with recreational fishery estimates, harvest areas where catch was assumed to consist of 100% hatchery fish without sufficient supporting information (“terminal harvest areas”), and the inception of June troll fisheries to increase Alaska hatchery harvests. The main concern with the June fisheries is the resulting increase in non-retention days in the summer troll fishery and associated incidental mortalities.

The estimated add-on to the troll fishery from 1999 – 2011 has averaged almost 24,000 Chinook salmon, or approximately 11% of the total catch. Part of the troll fishery is managed to maximize this add-on. The average hatchery contribution to the winter fishery is 10% of the total catch (see Skannes et al. 2012, Table 19). Spring troll fisheries were created to target Alaska hatchery Chinook salmon. The average contribution to these non-terminal May and June fisheries is 40% of the total catch (see Skannes et al. 2012, Table 16). The majority of Chinook salmon is harvested in the general summer troll fishery, which averages 4% Alaska hatchery fish. The reallocation of catch and effort into inside waters in May and June has increased exploitation rates on North/Central British Columbia, Upper Georgia Straits, Lower Georgia Straits, and West Coast of Vancouver Island stocks, relative to 1979-1982 (the “base period”), and has reduced the exploitation of Washington and Oregon stocks (CTC 1992).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 17 July 2008

Bycatch of non-salmon PET species is not considered to be a problem in Alaska salmon fisheries. Trollers in Southeast Alaska incidentally catch small numbers of halibut, rockfish, and lingcod under Federal and State regulations.

Alaska

Bycatch of non-salmon PET species is not considered to be a problem in Alaska salmon fisheries. Trollers in Southeast Alaska incidentally catch small numbers of halibut, rockfish, and lingcod under Federal and State regulations.

Alaska/PSC

Bycatch of non-salmon PET species is not considered to be a problem in Alaska salmon fisheries. Trollers in Southeast Alaska incidentally catch small numbers of halibut, rockfish, and lingcod under Federal and State regulations.

Other Species

Last updated on 17 July 2008

The Southeast Alaska Chinook troll fishery intercepts many transiting, non-local stocks from British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest USA. See the Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon troll fishery profile for detail.

Alaska/PSC

Although the predominant catch in the troll fishery is salmon, specifically Chinook and coho salmon, a number of other species are landed and either sold or kept for personal use. These include several species of rockfish, lingcod, halibut, steelhead, and miscellaneous species of sharks, cod, flatfish, Pollock, sculpins, and other incidentally caught fish. Management of rockfish (over 30 species are caught in Southeast Alaska), lingcod, sablefish, pacific cod, and starry flounder are under the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska and troll catches of these species are included when guideline harvest limits are targeted (Green et al 2011). Halibut are managed by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC 2012). Southeast Alaska is in IPHC management area 2C (statistical areas 140 – 184) (Kong et al. 2004) and managed as an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) fishery. Trollers that possess IFQs can land and sell halibut caught while salmon fishing, but these catches are generally thought to be minor. Most of the halibut are caught in longline fisheries and catch data maintained by the IPHC. A number of other species are infrequently caught and landed in the troll fishery. The incidental catch of unregulated species averages about 700 lbs or 0.02% of the Chinook salmon harvest and an insignificant percent of all salmon harvested by the troll fleet. An unknown amount of salmon, halibut, and other fish species may be harvested and consumed on-board or retained for personal use. It is thought that these numbers are small in the troll fishery. However fish either consumed onboard or retained for personal use may or may not be recorded on the fish ticket. This is believed to be a small number of Chinook salmon.

The incidental mortality associated with the Chinook salmon troll fishery has been identified as a problem of long-term interest (CTC 2011b). Efforts to estimate this mortality were initiated in 1985 and continued for 4 years with an onboard observer program managed by ADF&G and a logbook program overseen by the Alaska Trollers Association (see Seibel et al. 1988; 1989). The observer program was discontinued in 1990, but reinitiated in 1999 and continued through 2001 (Bloomquist et al. 1999; 2001; 2002; Stopha et al. 2000). Encounters of Chinook salmon with troll gear during non-retention periods were counted in 1985–1989, and for both retention and non-retention periods in 1999–2002. The condition of the Chinook salmon released was noted and coded wire tags and tissue samples were collected from sublegals in the later programs to determine the stock composition of the incidental mortalities. From 2002 to 2011, the Chinook Model provided another means to estimate mortalities in both retention and non-retention fisheries.

The estimates from the Chinook Model compare well to those obtained through a logbook/observer program. Data from both the Model and logbooks indicate that incidental mortalities ranged from about 23,000 to 38,000 legal and sublegal Chinook salmon per year and average about 14% of the reported catch. Meanwhile, sublegal encounters in the troll retention fishery amount to about 17% of the reported catch (Figure 1). Estimates from earlier years (1985–1989) were higher, possibly due to more non-retention fishing days in these seasons and open fishing areas with higher encounter rates. A number of areas of high Chinook salmon abundance are closed after the first summer troll opening to reduce incidental mortalities in the non-retention fisheries (Skannes et al. 2012).

*Figure 1:* Comparison of estimated sublegal encounters in the troll retention fishery and fishery reported catch (1998-2011) (Bloomquist and Carlile 2002; CTC 2012a)

Sampling and genetic analysis of sublegal Chinook salmon tissues from 1998–2003 indicate that most of the sublegal encounters occur with stocks originating from the upper Columbia River Summer/Fall, Strait of Georgia British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska spring populations (Templin et al. 2012a). Other populations from Oregon through West Coast of Vancouver Island were also important contributors to the samples. Subsequent samples taken from 2004–2007 and using the recent microsatellite baseline confirmed the mixture of stocks in the sublegal component of Chinook salmon abundance were from populations scattered from Oregon through Southeast Alaska (Templin et al. 2012b). In these years, 60–91% of sublegal Chinook salmon samples came from the combined contribution of Southern Southeast, Andrew Creek, East and West Vancouver Island, upper Columbia River, and Central British Columbia Coast stock groups. Coded wire tags recovered from sublegal Chinook salmon also found that almost one-half of these fish were from Washington and Oregon releases, 30% from Alaska stocks, and 21% from Canadian stocks (Bloomquist and Carlile 2002).

HABITAT

Last updated on 20 August 2013

Habitat impacts of Alaska’s Chinook salmon fishery are believed to be minimal. Management prohibits use of poisons, explosives, and other destructive practices. Gear loss, which can result in “ghost fishing” impacts, has not been formally quantified “but is believed to be relatively minor in most areas,” the MSC 2007 assessment authors note. Benthic impacts from salmon fishing gear are considered minor.

Alaska’s freshwater salmon habitat has benefited from sparse human occupancy in most watersheds and a suite of state laws governing activities (road-building, logging, mining, etc.) in riparian areas and spawning streams. Alaska’s Anadromous Fish Act regulates construction activities in salmon streams; its Forest Practices Act requires buffer zones to protect salmon spawning and rearing areas from logging impacts; the Commissioner of Fish and Game has authoroity to require water rights on behalf of fish. Streamflow necessary for salmon is reserved under the Water Use Protection Act. Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation oversees discharge of pollutants to protect fresh and marine waters.

Changes in climate and marine productivity are indirectly incorporated in management through pre-season forecasts and in-season monitoring of catch per effort, according to authors of the 2007 MSC assessment. They also observe: “ADFG managers recognize the importance of pristine habitat in maintaining resilience of wild salmon runs in light of significant changes in climate and ocean conditions. However, many plans in Alaska are under development to build roads in remote areas tin order to explolit resources such as oil, gas, and minerals.”

The recent (2012) failure of the Alaska Legislature to renew the Coastal Zone Management Program decreases the opportunity for review of coastal development projects. Alaska is the only state with coastal waters that does not have an active CZMP. The real strength of the CZMP was the designation of uses allowed in coastal zones. Much as a city can designate certain areas as residential and others as industrial, the CZMP designated certain coastal zones for conservation and others for growth, with limitations specified in permits. The CZMP provided a basis for protecting, restoring, and responsibly developing Alaska’s coastal communities and resources. The CZMP was also particularly useful in coordinating state and federal actions and provided a much-needed forum for public input concerning coastal habitat issues.

With particular respect to Southeast Alaska, the most productive region for coho salmon, Alaska management, together with a number of conservation groups, has provided constructive input to a number of transboundary river mining projects that are still in the planning stage. Acceptance of these suggestions will be known only when the projects are in full production.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

Alaska Department of Fish & Game has a division devoted to permitting and monitoring the use of freshwater habitat. This agency has a record of altering or halting projects that may diminish salmon habitat (ADF&G 2012i).

Last updated on 9 March 2016

There is a proposed coal mine development project within the Chuitna watershed which would directly impact some salmon spawning and rearing habitat (ADF&G 2011). Permit applications suggest an average of over 7 million gallons of mine runoff per day would be discharged into several tributaries of the Chuitna River (GTT 2012). Toxic releases and hydrological changes that are likely to result from the proposed coal mining project have the potential to negatively and irreversibly impact the aquatic health of the watershed and the viability of its inhabitants (GTT 2012).

This type of mining has a very poor environmental record, and the potential long term impacts are extensive (GTT 2012). Environmental baseline studies on which PacRim Coal, the project operator, is basing its impact assessment and mitigation plans have been described in expert reviews by independent scientists as incomplete and lacking in sound scientific basis (Palmer 2009; Trasky 2009; Wipfli 2009).These reviews indicate that PacRim’s described objectives of minimizing effective channel habitat loss and restoring degraded habitat after mining is complete are unlikely to be achieved.Furthermore, for the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to permit such an operation directly through a salmon stream would be a precedent-setting decision (GTT 2012). As such, the ideal outcome for the preservation of Chuitna River salmon stocks – as well as other salmon stocks throughout Alaska – would be for the Chuitna Coal Mining project to be denied permitting.

Last updated on 9 March 2016

A fuller description of current habitat issues can be found under the habitat sections for the Alaska and Alaska/PSC management units of the Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon profile. In Alaska, British Columbia, and the Pacific Northwest, there is widespread agreement that habitat destruction is one of the principle reasons (along with overfishing) for declines in salmon abundance (NRC 1992; AFS 1997; Lichatowich 1999). Current issues of concern include:

- The failure of the Alaska Legislature to renew the Alaska Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP). Alaska is the only state with coastal waters that does not have an active CZMP, which allows for conservation designations for certain coastal areas. The real strength of the CZMP was the designation of uses allowed in coastal zones.

- The completion of a new industrial grade transmission line to the upper Stikine River is projected to attract extensive development and habitat modification.

- There are several mining projects located in the Northwest British Columbia-Transboundary region that are currently in various phases of exploitation and exploration: namely, the the Tulsequah Chief mine in the Taku watershed and the Kerr-Sulphurets mine in the Unuk watershed. Additionally, two other mining projects are planned in the Stikine watershed—the Galore Creek and the Schaft Creek mines.

- Amidst the new mining projects, the current Canadian version of the National Environmental Policy Act does not include a level of review of development projects that would be equivalent to an Environmental Impact Study.

 
Alaska

Alaska management, together with a number of conservation groups, has provided constructive input to a number of transboundary river mining projects that are still in the planning stage. Acceptance of these suggestions will be known only when the projects are in their full exploitation phase. However the scale of potential development in the headwaters of the Stikine River is of concern, as is the failure of the Canadian Government to enforce permit requirements. Also, the failure of the Alaska Legislature to renew the Coastal Zone Management Program decreases the opportunity for review of coastal development projects.

Alaska/PSC

Habitat management from Oregon coastal rivers to Southeast Alaska streams affects the health and abundance of Chinook salmon caught in the Alaska troll fishery. Habitat issues in Southeast Alaska waters and Canadian drainages supporting transboundary populations are carefully monitored and evaluated by ADF&G staff, as well as many conservation and user group organizations throughout Alaska. Groups such as the Taku River Task Force, created by the Alaska State Legislature, have focused their efforts on particular development projects such as the Tulsequah Chief mine, providing analysis and input from a fishery resource wellbeing perspective. However, awareness and understanding of the impacts of mining, logging, hydro, agriculture, road and urban development, and many other projects that may negatively affect the habitat of Chinook salmon in British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon, are clearly lacking among managers and user groups in Alaska. Thus rarely, if ever, does Alaskan management comment on proposed develop projects that could affect habitat in these distant jurisdictions. The PSC recently formed the Habitat and Restoration Technical Committee (HRTC) to identify the stocks affected by habitat issues and the non-fishing factors affecting the passage and survival of juvenile salmon and options for addressing these concerns. A Southern and Northern endowment fund was also established to financially support recommended projects and monitoring of these projects. From 2004 to 2009, 134 habitat projects have been funded under this program. ADF&G, along which other agencies in Canada, Washington, and Oregon, is thus engaged in a coastwide effort to reverse habitat damage in some of the key salmon production areas. Comments on effectiveness of habitat management for the Chinook salmon troll fishery will therefore be limited to observations on issues concerning Southeast Alaska and transboundary rivers and to the coast-wide efforts of the PSC.

Impacts to rivers and streams supporting Chinook salmon production in Southeast Alaska resulting from development activities have historically been small to nonexistent due to the remoteness of many of the mining and logging sites and the resulting economic and logistical disadvantages inherent in the topography. Currently, there are no large projects in operation that could be potentially destructive to Chinook salmon habitat. However, the headwaters of the two major transboundary rivers in Southeast Alaska, the Taku and Stikine River, are being considered for extensive mining development and the completion of a new industrial grade transmission line to the upper Stikine River is projected to attract extensive development and habitat modification. These rivers are major producers of Chinook salmon in Southeast Alaska and support commercial, sport, subsistence, and cultural fisheries in both Alaska and Canada. Careful consideration of the effect of habitat modification on salmon health and production is essential and input from both Canadian and Alaskan interests needs to be considered.

Activities which potentially impact fish health and abundance are often carefully scrutinized by a number of organizations. The communities of Southeast Alaska support a variety of conservation groups. The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), a coalition of 14 local conservation groups, coordinates much of the local opposition to destructive development in local forests and drainages. Statewide conservation groups, such as Alaska Marine Conservation Council, Trustees for Alaska, Alaska Center for the Environment, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, and Alaska Wilderness League have participated in oversight of developmental plans. Furthermore, national and international groups such as Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Oceana, the Sierra Club, Rivers Without Borders, and Greenpeace have weighed in on proposals affecting fish habitat. ADF&G is currently evaluating the impacts of mines on the environment in the Taku, Stikine, and Unuk Rivers (see Weber Scannell 2012a and 2012b). In response to Canadian permitting of the transportation of mining supplies up the Taku River via barge, the Alaska legislature established the Taku River Fact-Finding Task Force in 2011 to review the status of Taku River wildlife resources and habitat and which state and federal agencies are responsible for monitoring these activities.

Currently the Tulsequah Chief Mine, located on a tributary of the Taku River in British Columbia, is undergoing exploration and delineation of ore deposits. This is a continuation of development of the mining area that was conducted by Redfern Resources between 2007 and 2009. An airstrip, partially completed water treatment plant, and local access road have been constructed but no production level mining is occurring and even a plan of operations for the mine is still being prepared. ADF&G staff is currently assessing the potential impacts of this mine on water quality, fish, and wildlife and identifying information needs and recommendations for long-term environmental monitoring (Weber Scannell 2012a). The Weber Scannell report recommends that the mining plan include a detailed description of transportation logistics, location of mine facilities and storage areas, ore processing and chemical spill prevention and contingency plans, personnel housing, monitoring and protocols to minimize seepage of high concentrations of metals and acid rock drainage, and plans for future closure of the mine. In response to native tribes’ concerns, some modifications in plans have occurred, including revisions to the road plan (reducing the road length from 156 to 122 km and elimination of over 20 bridge crossings).

The Tulsequah mine is opposed by Rivers Without Borders conservation group because this group believes that mining activities are not consistent with the rich and diverse biodiversity of the Taku River and that access to this area by one mine would invite continuing development by other mines (RWB 2012). However, large development projects are not expected in the Taku River drainages in the near future. The BC government recently completed the Atlin Taku Land Use Plan (Wóoshtin wudidaa Atlin Taku Land Use Plan 2011) which establishes a system for decision making regarding land use management of the entire Canadian side of the transboundary Taku River watershed and sets aside a large part of the region for conservation. The commitments in this agreement are “grounded in ecosystem-based management practices including principles, goals and objectives for critical habitat and ecosystem management and are based on the goal to sustain diverse and healthy native biodiversity, wildlife, fish and ecosystems across the landscape in perpetuity.” In fact, among the goals of management is the “environmental management of aquatic ecosystems, fish habitat and water quality that lead the world.” The plan sets out a process and framework to evaluate and permit land development activities, including mining, forestry, water diversion, and general land development.

The Stikine River is the other large transboundary river in Southeast Alaska. From the late 1800s to the present, thousands of mines have been developed throughout the Stikine River drainage, with most of these abandoned when few minerals were found or mines became unprofitable. A number of prospective mining sites remain. Currently two mines are in the planning stages for the Stikine River Watershed, the Galore Creek mine and the Schaft Creek mine. In addition, the Kerr-Sulphurets mine, an open pit, cyanide leach mine is located in the headwaters of the Unuk River. The Federal Government of Canada adopted Metal Mining Effluent Regulations which set effluent limits for metals and total suspended solids. These were updated in 2007 (CWQGPAL 2007). The Galore Creek mine has agreed to water, tailings, and ore management practices and filter plant processing which will limit the concentrations of metals to these limits. However, monitoring will still be required to ensure water quality objectives are met. The Schaft Creek Mine is currently undergoing environmental assessment process by both the Government of Canada and British Columbia. Weber Scannell (2012b) recommends two monitoring programs for the Galore Creek and Schaft Creek mines. One program would be to sample receiving waters near each mine to identify changes to aquatic systems downstream of mining activities. The other program would be located in the lower Stikine River to ensure that aquatic resources in Alaska are adequately protected. Brooks et al. (2012) expressed concerns over the potential impacts of waste pits on ground water, the wear and tear on drainage pipes, and the acid mine drainage from the tailings pile. They recommend transportation of the tailings away from the mine site and the Stikine River drainage, and filtering of the wastewater.

These mines may be the precursors of much more extensive development in the future. The Northwest British Columbia-Transboundary region is facing an expansive wave of industrialization that could transform the area and threaten the salmon-bearing rivers upon which populations of Chinook salmon depend. A new transmission line is the catalyst behind this development which includes numerous mines, large storage areas for acid-generating waste and mine tailings, many roads, bridges, and culverts supporting this development, large-scale hydro projects and coal bed methane extraction. The potential harm to resources was addressed by 36 concerned US and Canadian scientists in a letter to the Premier of BC. These scientists expressed concerns over insufficient baseline data and studies, inadequate monitoring programs, lack of follow-up evaluations, and an overall failure to properly evaluate the cumulative impact these projects will have on the water quality and overall ecosystem in this area. The scientists also requested a formal mechanism to incorporate U.S. concerns into the review process.

The Boundary Waters Treaty, signed in 1909, may provide one mechanism for the permitting process to take into account concerns of United States agencies and conservations groups. Specifically, the treaty states that waters shall not be polluted on either side of the boundary between the two countries to the injury of health or property on the other side (see RWB 2011). SEACC states that the Canadian version of the National Environmental Policy Act has no level of review equivalent to an Environmental Impact Study. Thus, adequate baseline studies and opportunities for public input do not exist. BC water quality criteria are not as stringent as those in Alaska. In order for a project to proceed in BC, an environmental assessment certificate must be obtained. This certificate contains a list of commitments, which amount to a list of actions focused upon avoiding or mitigating potential adverse environmental effects of a project. These commitments are legally binding, and the Environment Assessment Office is responsible for ensuring that these commitments are adhered to. In a report to the legislature, Doyle (2011) reported that required monitoring of projects after permits have been secured has not been happening. The Environmental Assessment Office was found to be deficient in ensuring that certificate commitments are measurable and enforceable, monitoring responsibilities are clearly defined, and compliance and enforcement actions are effective. The audit found that the Environmental Assessment Office cannot assure British Columbians that mitigation efforts are having the intended effects because adequate monitoring is not occurring and follow-up evaluations are not being conducted.

The continuing destruction of salmon habitat in Washington, Oregon, and Southern British Columbia through logging, dams, agriculture, or urbanization has diminished significantly in recent years, with habitat restoration likely outpacing habitat degradation. From a coast-wide perspective, there is widespread agreement that habitat destruction is one of the principle reasons (along with overfishing) leading to continuing declines in salmon abundance (NRC 1992; AFS 1997). Salmon habitat restoration has found support in almost every community in the Pacific Northwest. Volunteers and staff from an extensive collection of agencies and organizations are active in restoration efforts, including national, state, local, Tribal and First Nation governments. Thousands of projects to reverse the detrimental effects of environmental destruction on salmon health and improve salmon habitat have been completed. The listing of many salmon stocks under the Endangered Species Act has also increased interest in habitat improvement.

In the United States, the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund was established in 2000. Through Fiscal Year 2006, $525,000,000 has been appropriated to West Coast states and tribal entities for restoration and conservation projects (PSC 2008). These funds have supported over 5,700 activities. In particular, funding in Alaska is being used for monitoring and management programs to help ensure that the practices that have resulted in habitat degradation in other jurisdictions are avoided in Alaska (PSC 2008). Additional funds have also been provided by the Northwest Power Conservation Council, US Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and state legislatures. From 1997 to 2005, $590,000,000 was appropriated for Washington habitat recovery efforts. From 1995 to 2005, Oregon exceeded $388,000,000 in habitat recovery funding, and from 2004 to 2006 Idaho received $11,500,000 in PCSRF funding. These federal and state funds are also augmented by local and non-governmental organizations and significant volunteer efforts.

In Canada, there are a number of funding sources, including the Habitat Restoration and Salmon Enhancement Program and Pacific Salmon Foundation, which together have supported 1,340 habitat restoration, stewardship, and stock rebuilding projects through 2008 (PSC 2008). Other funding sources include Forest Renewal BC, Fisheries Renewal BC, the Urban Salmon Habitat Program, the Living Rivers Program and Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, and numerous local government, First Nations and non-government organizations.

In addition to providing funding for habitat restoration, many legislative acts, policies and initiatives have been promulgated to protect salmon habitat. In Canada, the federal Fisheries Act, last amended June 29, 2012, supersedes provincial laws and is guided by the Policy for the Management of Fish Habitat whose objective is achieving a net gain of fish habitat. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act also protect specific areas of the environment. The Species at Risk Act, similar to the U.S. Endangered Species Act, provides for the recovery of species that are threatened by human activities. The Wild Salmon Policy also addresses Canadian habitat issues.

In the United States, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has done more to protect salmon habitat than any other single piece of legislation. Currently nine Chinook salmon stocks (or ESUs) are listed as endangered or threatened. The power of the ESA lies in the fact that all actions that can affect the listed species, including fishery harvests, habitat actions, and hatchery practices, need to be approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). In addition, NMFS is charged with developing recovery plans for the listed stocks, which, in large part, involves habitat improvement. States have also passed a number of legislative initiatives directed to improving salmon habitat and minimizing effects of logging and development. These include the State of Washington’s Statewide Strategy to Recover Salmon – Extinction is Not an Option, Washington’s Growth Management Act, an updated Shoreline Management Act, and the Puget Sound Partnership. The State of Oregon has initiated the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds (Oregon Plan), Native Fish Conservation Policy, Coast Coho Conservation Plan, and Oregon Conservation Strategy, and has also created the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. All of these statutes, agencies, and policies are oriented towards improving the salmon habitat.

Alaska is noted for its pristine waters, vast expanses of undeveloped lands, and healthy wildlife populations. Many of the state’s water quality statues are the most stringent in the country. Multiple state agencies, such as the Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Conservation, and Fish and Game review and revise plans for development in sensitive habitat areas. However the failure of the Alaska Legislature to renew the Alaska Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP) has jeopardized the continued conservation and protection of coastal habitats. Alaska is the only state with coastal waters that does not have an active CZMP. The real strength of the CZMP was the designation of uses allowed in coastal zones. Much as a city can designate certain areas as residential and others as industrial, the CZMP designated certain coastal zones for conservation and others for growth, with limitations specified in permits. The CZMP provided a basis for protecting, restoring, and responsibly developing Alaska’s coastal communities and resources. The CZMP was also particularly useful in coordinating state and federal actions and provided a much-needed forum for public input concerning coastal habitat issues.

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

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Different components of this salmon region score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As calculated for 2015 data.

The score is 6.5.

The fishery inherits the lowest score among nested fisheries profiles on Criterion 2 from the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim fishery profile. Not all stock components in the fishery, particularly in the Kuskokwim Management Area, have escapement goals, although commercial exploitation rates on those stocks collectively have been relatively low, and secondary to subsistence harvests. 13 out of 25 existing Yukon River and Kuskokwim Management Area escapement goals have also been lowered at least once in association with missed management objectives.

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DATA NOTES

Scores appearing at the region level reflect the range of scores for the district profiles in the region for each of the five FishSource scoring criteria.  District profiles are scored according to the complete FishSource salmon scoring method, which can be downloaded here. A summary of the method’s scoring criteria for district profiles follows below (for the Alaska/PSC troll fishery component, scroll further to see a slightly modified set of criteria applied to mixture pool fisheries).

The FishSource sustainability criteria as applied to salmon: Criterion 1. Management Responsiveness (Is the management strategy precautionary?) 1.1 Over the last decade, has fisheries management exhibited in-season responsiveness to stock status? 1.2 Has fisheries management responded appropriately over the last 15 years when/if the stock has failed to meet management objectives and/or maintain yields? 1.3 Has management exhibited responsiveness to concerns regarding the conservation and restoration of the stock’s essential freshwater, estuarine and coastal habitats during the last ten years? Criterion 2. Management Guidelines (Do the managers follow scientific advice?) Have appropriate escapement goals or operational equivalents been developed and implemented for the fishery’s wild stocks? Criterion 3. Adequacy of Data (Do fishers comply?) 3.1 Is a portion of harvest attributable to illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing, resulting in official harvest data that is lower than the actual catch? 3.2 Is the fishery’s harvest adequately and accurately measured and reported? 3.3 Has escapement been adequately and accurately measured and publicly reported? Criterion 4. Stock Status (Is the fish stock healthy?) 4.1 Have escapement measures for the fishery’s wild stocks been maintained above escapement goals or thresholds, or have harvest rates been below the target harvest rates? 4.2 Has the catch trend been level or increasing over a 15-year period? Criterion 5. Are hatcheries or other enhancement activities negatively affecting wild stocks? (Will the fish stock be healthy in the future?) 5.0 Do hatcheries account for 10% or less of the fishery’s total production, or are hatchery-produced fish not in substantial contact with wild salmon? If “no,” then the following sub-criteria are analyzed: 5.1 Are managers able to manage for the (wild) stocks in a fishery that also contains hatchery stocks of salmon? 5.2 Is there a low quantity of hatchery strays in the escapement throughout the freshwater habitat of the wild stock, and is hatchery straying quantified by means of a technically sound data collection and analysis? 5.3 Over the past 10 years, have hatchery strays, hatchery out-plants, or any returning hatchery-produced fish been intentionally allowed to mix with the wild stock during spawning? 5.4 Are there active and effective policies that (1) establish objectives for the conservation of wild salmon, (2) put into place operational systems that limit hatchery impacts on wild stocks, (3) grant sufficient oversight and authority over individual hatchery programs to management agencies, and (4) establish a hatchery evaluation system that monitors the performance of individual hatcheries against wild salmon conservation objectives?

Alaska/PSC

This is a mixutre pool management fishery (preseason-managed, occurring in the open ocean); a slightly modified version of the FishSource salmon fishery sustainability criteria is applied to mixture pool fisheries: Criterion 1. Management Responsiveness (Is the management strategy precautionary?) 1.1 Over the last decade, has fisheries management exhibited in-season responsiveness to stock status? 1.2 Has fisheries management maintained catch consistently below the catch limit, if there is one, during the last 15 years? 1.3 Has fisheries management responded appropriately over the last 15 years when/if the stock has failed to meet management objectives and/or maintain yields? 1.4 Has management exhibited responsiveness to concerns regarding the conservation and restoration of the stock’s essential freshwater, estuarine and coastal habitats during the last ten years? Criterion 2. Management Guidelines (Do the managers follow scientific advice?) Are the management guidelines (i.e. catch limits) appropriate and subject to scientific oversight? Criterion 3. Adequacy of Data (Do fishers comply?) 3.1 Is a portion of harvest attributable to illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing, resulting in official harvest data that is lower than the actual catch? 3.2 Is the fishery’s harvest adequately and accurately measured and reported? 3.3 Have stock identification efforts been undertaken to determine the fishery’s stock composition? 3.4 Is escapement measured in a substantial and well-distributed quantity of stocks harvested by the fishery? Criterion 4. Stock Status (Is the fish stock healthy?) 4.1 Have escapement trends of the fishery’s stock aggregate been level or increasing over the last 15 years? 4.2 Has the catch trend been level or increasing over a 15-year period? Criterion 5. Are hatcheries or other enhancement activities negatively affecting wild stocks? (Will the fish stock be healthy in the future?) 5.0 Do hatcheries account for 10% or less of the fishery’s total production, or are hatchery-produced fish not in substantial contact with wild salmon? If “no,” then the following sub-criteria are analyzed: 5.1 Are managers able to identify and quantify hatchery fish in the mixed-stock aggregate? 5.2 Does hatchery abundance overly influence the determination of the fishery’s catch limit?

 

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

Alaska salmon

STATUS

MSC Recertified on 1 September 2000

SCORES

Principle Level Scores:

Unit of Certification Principle Score
Southeast Alaska Principle 1 – Target Species 80.7
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 81.0
Principle 3 – Management System 91.5
Yakutat Principle 1 – Target Species 97.1
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 83.7
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Prince William Sound

Principle 1 – Target Species

83.5

Principle 2 - Ecosystem 86.0
Principle 3 – Management System 91.5
Copper/Bering Districts Principle 1 – Target Species 82.4
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 85.7
Principle 3 – Management System 91.5
Lower Cook Inlet Principle 1 – Target Species 91.0
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 86.0
Principle 3 – Management System 89.5
Upper Cook Inlet Principle 1 – Target Species 94.3
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 85.7
Principle 3 – Management System 91.5
Bristol Bay Principle 1 – Target Species 98.9
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Yukon River Principle 1 – Target Species 91.7
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Kuskokwim Principle 1 – Target Species 91.2
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Kotzebue Principle 1 – Target Species 88.3
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.7
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Norton Sound Principle 1 – Target Species 84.2
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Kodiak Principle 1 – Target Species 82.5
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 85.3
Principle 3 – Management System 91.5
Chignik Principle 1 – Target Species 87.1
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.7
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5
Peninsula/Aleutian Islands Principle 1 – Target Species 97.4
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 96.5

Certification Type: Silver

Sources

Credits
  1. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2010. Upper Cook Inlet Stock of Concern Recommendations (memorandum to the Alaska Board of Fisheries) [online]. Alaska Department of Fish & Game Office, 1255 West 8th Street, P.O. Box 25526, Juneau.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.pastmeetinginfo2010_2011
  2. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2011. Chuitna River, Theodore River, and Lewis River King Salmon Stock Status and Action Plan, 2011. Report to the Board of Fisheries. [PDF] Anchorage: Alaska Department of Fish and Game. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.pastmeetinginfo2010_2011
  3. Eggers, D. M. and Carroll, A. M., 2011. Run forecasts and harvest projections for 2011 Alaska salmon fisheries and review of the 2010 season. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Special Publication No. 11-03, Anchorage.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/SP11-03.pdf
  4. Howard, K.G., Hayes, S.J., and Evenson, D.F., 2009. Yukon River Chinook salmon stock status and action plan 2010; a report to the Alaska Board of Fisheries. [PDF] Anchorage: Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Special Publication No. 09-26. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/sp09-26.pdf
  5. Kent, S.M. and Bergstrom, D.J., 2009. Norton Sound Subdistrict 5 (Shatoolik) and Subdistrict 6 (Unalakleet) Chinook salmon stock status and action plan, 2010; a report to the Alaska Board of Fisheries. [PDF] Anchorage: Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Special Publicaion No. 09-25. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/SP09-25.pdf
  6. Moody Marine Ltd., 2011. Fourth Marine Stewardship Council Annual Surveillance Report: Alaska Salmon Fisheries. [pdf] Nova Scotia: Intertek Moody Marine Ltd.http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/alaska-salmon/assessment-downloads-2/Fourth_Marine_Stewardship_Council_Surveillance_Audit_Final.pdf
  7. NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service), 2003. Final programmatic environmental impact statement for Pacific salmon fisheries management off the coasts of Southeast Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California and in the Columbia River Basin. [pdf] Seattle: National Marine Fisheries Service. http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Salmon-Harvest-Hatcheries/Salmon-Fishery-Management/upload/slmn-hrvst-FPEIS.pdf
  8. NPAFC (North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission), 2012. NPAFC Statistical Yearbook. [online] NPAFC Annual Statistics, Issues 1993-2009. http://www.npafc.org/new/pub_statistics.html
  9. PSC (Pacific Salmon Commission), 2011. 2010 Annual Report of Catches. [pdf] Pacific Salmon Commission, Joint Chinook Technical Committee Report TCCHINOOK (11)-2, Vancouver, BC. http://www.psc.org/pubs/TCCHINOOK11-2.pdf
  10. Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), 2007. The Commercial Alaska Salmon Fisheries Managed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game: A 5-Year Re-Assessment Based on the Marine Stewardship Program. [PDF] Emeryville, CA: Scientific Certification Systems Inc. http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/alaska-salmon/assessment-downloads-2/Final_Cert_Report_Oct07.pdf
  11. Skannes, P., Hagerman, G., and Shaul, L. 2012. Annual Management Report for the 2011 Southeast Alaska/Yakutat Salmon Troll Fisheries.[pdf] Fishery Management Report No. 12-02, Anchorage. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FMR12-02.pdf
  12. Somerville, M. A., 2011. Fishery management report for the recreational fisheries of the Upper Copper/Upper Susitna River management area, 2010. [pdf] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Management Report No. 11-55 Anchorage.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FMR11-38.pdf
  13. Templin, W. D., J.M. Berger, and L.W. Seeb, 2011. Mixed stock analysis of Chinook salmon harvested in the Southeast Alaska commercial troll fishery, 1999–2003. [pdf] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Manuscript Series No. 11-03, Anchorage. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FMS11-03.pdf
  14. Vercessi, Lorraine. 2012. Alaska Salmon Fisheries Enhancement Program 2011 Annual Report. Fishery Management Report No. 12-04. Anchorage, AK: Alaska Department of Fish and Game.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidpdfs/FMR12-04
  15. Volk, E. C. and R. P. Josephson. 2011. Alaska Salmon Hatchery Releases, Commercial Fishery Catch Statistics, and Sport Fishery Catch Statistics for 2010 Season. NPAFC Doc. 1338. 6pp. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Commercial Fisheries, P.O. Box 115526, Juneau, AK. 99811-5526.http://www.npafc.org/new/publications/Documents/PDF%202011/1338(USA).pdf
  16. White, B. 2011. Alaska salmon fisheries enhancement program 2010 annual report. [pdf] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Management Report No. 11-04, Anchorage.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FMR11-04.pdf
  17. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2004. Escapement goal review of select AYK Region salmon stocks.[pdf] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Commercial Fisheries Regional Information Report 3A04-01, Anchorage. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/rir.3a.2004.01.pdf
  18. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2010. 2010 Norton Sound Salmon Season Summary. [news release] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 103 East Front Street, Nome, Alaska.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/fishing/PDFs/commercial/2010_norton_salmon_summary.pdf
  19. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2011a. 2011 Norton Sound Salmon Season Summary. [news release] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 103 East Front Street, Nome, Alaska.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/fishing/PDFs/commercial/2011_norton_salmon_summary.pdf
  20. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2011b. 2011 Preliminary Kuskokwim Area Salmon Season Summary. [news release] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 333 Raspberry Road, Anchorage, Alaska. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/news/pdfs/newsreleases/cf/93505531.pdf
  21. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2011c. 2011 Preliminary Yukon River Summer Season Summary. [news release] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 333 Raspberry Road, Anchorage, Alaska.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/fishing/PDFs/commercial/2011_yukonriver_summersalmon_summary.pdf
  22. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2012a. 2012 Norton Sound Salmon Season Summary. [news release] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 103 East Front Street, Nome, Alaska.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/news/pdfs/newsreleases/cf/232684328.pdf
  23. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2012b. 2012 Preliminary Kuskokwim Area Salmon Season Summary. [news release] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 333 Raspberry Road, Anchorage, Alaska. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/news/pdfs/newsreleases/cf/229503860.pdf
  24. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2012c. Arctic-Yukon- Kuskokwim Escapement Goal Recommendations. [Memorandum to ADF&G Commercial Fisheries Division Director, Jeff Regnart and Sport Fisher Division Director, Charles O. Swanton from Commercial Fisheries Division Region III Regional Research Coordinators, Jan Conitz and Katie Howard and Sport Fish Division Region III Regional Research Coordinator, Matt Evenson, September 19, 2012], Alaska Department of Fish & Game Office, 1255 West 8th Street, P.O. Box 25526, Juneau.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo
  25. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2012d. Arctic-Yukon- Kuskokwim Stock of Concern Recommendations. [Memorandum to Alaska Board of Fisheries Members from ADF&G Commercial Fisheries Division Director, Jeff Regnart and Sport Fisher Division Director, Charles O. Swanton], Alaska Department of Fish & Game Office, 1255 West 8th Street, P.O. Box 25526, Juneau. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.meetinginfo
  26. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2012e. 2012 Alaska Chinook Salmon Fishery Disaster. [online] http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=hottopics.federalchinookdisaster
  27. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2012f. 2012 Preliminary Yukon River Summer Season Summary. [news release] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 333 Raspberry Road, Anchorage, Alaska.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/news/pdfs/newsreleases/cf/229271472.pdf
  28. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2012g. ADF&G announces Chinook Salmon Symposium.[Press Release] Alaska Department of Fish & Game Office, P.O. Box 115526 Juneau, Alaska 99811.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=pressreleases.pr09202012
  29. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2012h. Alaska Commercial Salmon Harvests and Exvessel Values. [online] http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=CommercialByFisherySalmon.exvesselquery
  30. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2012i. Habitat Division Website.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=habitatregulations.main
  31. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 2012j. 2012 Prince William Sound salmon season summary. [news release] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, PO Box 669, Cordova, Alaska. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/news/pdfs/newsreleases/cf/233173893.pdf
  32. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2012k. Commercial Fishing Information by Area .[online]http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingcommercialbyarea.interior
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  34. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish & Game), Various Authors, 1998-2012. Alaska Salmon Fisheries Enhancement Program Annual Reports [for the years 1997-2011]. Fishery Management Report No. __-__. Anchorage, AK, ADF&G.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidpdfs/FMR12-04
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  38. Brannian, L. K., Evenson, M. J., and Hilsinger J. R., 2006. Escapement goal recommendations for select Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region salmon stocks, 2007. [pdf] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Manuscript No. 06-07, Anchorage.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/fms06-07.pdf
  39. Brazil, C., Bue, D., Carroll, H., and Elison, T., 2011. 2010 Kuskokwim area management report. [pdf] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Management Report No. 11-67, Anchorage.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FMR11-67.pd
  40. Bue, B. G., Schaberg, K.L., Liller, Z.W., and Molyneaux, D.B., 2012. Estimates of the historic run and escapement for the Chinook salmon stock returning to the Kuskokwim River, 1976-2011. [pdf] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Data Series No. 12-49, Anchorage. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FDS12-49.pdf
  41. Estensen, J. L. and Evenson, M.J., 2006. A summary of harvest and escapement information and recommendations for improved data collection and escapement goals for Unalakleet River Chinook salmon. [pdf] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Manuscript No. 06-04, Anchorage. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/fms06-04.pdf
  42. Estensen, J. L., D. B. Molyneaux, and D. J. Bergstrom. 2009. Kuskokwim River salmon stock status and Kuskokwim area fisheries, 2009; a report to the Alaska Board of Fisheries. [pdf] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Special Publication No. 09-21, Anchorage.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/SP09-21.pdf
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  46. Gisclair, B.R., 2009. Salmon Bycatch Management in the Bering Sea Walleye Pollock Fishery: Threats and Opportunities for Western Alaska. In: Pacific salmon: ecology and management of western Alaska’s populations (American Fisheries Society Symposium 70, Bethesda, Maryland, 2009). C. C. Krueger and C. E. Zimmerman, eds.: pp. 799–816. http://www.yukonsalmon.com/news/Bycatch%20Article%2012-09.pdf
  47. Hayes, S. J., Bue, F.J., Borba, B.M., Boeck, K.R., H. Carroll, H.C., Boeck, L., Newland, E.J., Clark, K.J., and Busher, W.H., 2008. Annual management report Yukon and Northern areas 2002-2004. [pdf] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Management Report No. 08-36, Anchorage. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/fmr08-36.pdf
  48. Hayes S. J., Bue, F., Newland, E., Busher, W.H., Clark, K., Evenson, D. F., Borba, B.M., Horne-Brine, M., and Bergstrom, D., 2011. Annual management report Yukon and Northern Areas 2005. [pdf] Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Management Report No. 11-36, Anchorage. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FMR11-36.pdf
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  60. Eggers, D. M. and Carroll, A. M., 2011. Run forecasts and harvest projections for 2011 Alaska salmon fisheries and review of the 2010 season. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Special Publication No. 11-03, Anchorage.ttp://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/SP11-03.pdf
  61. Fair, L.F., Brazil, C.E., Zhang, X., Clark, R.A., and Erickson, J.W. 2012. Review of salmon escapement goals in Bristol Bay, Alaska, 2012. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Manuscript Series No. 12-04, Anchorage.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FMS12-04.pdf
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  64. Munro, A.R., and Volk, E.C. 2013. Summary of Pacific salmon escapement goals in Alaska with a review of escapements from 2004 to 2012. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Manuscript Series No. 13-05, Anchorage http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/
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  66. Trout Unlimited 2012. About Pebble Mine [online] http://www.savebristolbay.org/about-the-bay/about-pebble-mine
  67. Vercessi, L. 2012. Alaska salmon fisheries enhancement program 2011 annual report. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Management Report No. 12-04, Anchorage. http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/FedAidPDFs/FMR12-04.pdf
  68. ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), 2010. Upper Cook Inlet Stock of Concern Recommendations (memorandum to the Alaska Board of Fisheries). [pdf] Alaska Department of Fish & Game Office, 1255 West 8th Street, P.O. Box 25526, Juneau.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fisheriesboard.pastmeetinginfo2010_2011
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