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Project Information

Title: Management Applications: Improving Preseason Forecasts of Kenai River Sockeye Salmon Runs through Smolt Monitoring - Technology Development

Project Year and Number: 2005: 050765

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: None

Principal Investigator (PI): Mark Willette, Alaska Department of Fish & Game

Assisting Personnel: Jim Edmundson

Research Location: Cook Inlet

Restoration Category: Monitoring

Injured Resources Addressed: Commercial Fishing , Sockeye Salmon , Subsistence

Abstract: This project will develop and implement a smolt-monitoring program for Kenai River sockeye salmon as a tool for managing one of the largest and most accessible salmon stocks in Upper Cook Inlet. Sockeye salmon smolt population estimates will be used to develop preseason forecasts of run size for this stock. The Alaska Board of Fisheries has specified that the Kenai River sockeye salmon run will be managed based upon preseason and inseason forecasts of run strength, and inriver escapement goals for this system vary as a function of these forecasts. This management structure causes relative uses of the resource by recreational, personal use, and commercial fishers to be strongly dependent on the accuracy of forecasts. The project will use two independent methods to estimate the population size of sockeye salmon smolt emigrating from the Kenai River watershed. GEM funding is requested to support estimation of smolt population size using mark-recapture methods. ADF&G funding will support estimation of smolt population size using side-looking sonar. During the first two years of the project, we will evaluate the accuracy and precision of our estimates and identify the methodology that provides the best estimate at the lowest cost. In the third year, we will implement this new method to estimate smolt population size. The project will also estimate the proportion of marine-derived elements in smolts, beginning a database needed to evaluate the effect of marine nutrient contributions on salmon production in this and other systems.


Geographic Regions Cook Inlet
Species Fish - Salmon
Fields of Expertise Ecology
Technological Methods Acoustics/hydroacoustics
Moored observing arrays (i.e. buoys)

Proposal: View PDF (668 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 2005 , 2006 , 2007

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2005 , 2006 , 2007

Annual Reports: 2005: View (22 KB) 2006: View (24 KB) 2007: View (18 KB)

Final Report: View

Publications from this Project: None Available