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Project Information

Title: Red Lake Sockeye Salmon Restoration

Project Year and Number: 1992: R113

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: 1993: 93030

Principal Investigator (PI): Lorne White

Assisting Personnel: None

Research Location: Kodiak Island

Restoration Category: Damage Assessment

Injured Resources Addressed: Sockeye Salmon

Abstract: Red Lake, located on the southwest side of Kodiak Island, has historically been one of the most consistent producers of sockeye salmon for the Kodiak commercial salmon fishery. The Department of Fish and Game's annual escapement goal for this system ranges from 200 to 300 thousand sockeye (Malloy 1988). The mean harvest of Red Lake sockeye has been 450,000 since 1980 and ranged from 25,000 to 1.5 million. The mean annual value of this harvest is $2.2 million to the fisherman. In 1989, as a result of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, some commercially harvested fish were oiled, which resulted in closures over most of Kodiak Island waters. This resulted in an escapement of 786,000 sockeye into Red Lake, which equated to a 2.5 fold increase over the maximum desired escapement. Careful management of the number of spawning fish is required to maintain this fishery. If too many adult sockeye spawn in the lake system, an overabundance of juvenile sockeye will deplete their plankton food source, resulting in decreased freshwater growth and high mortality. This will then result in fewer smolt migrating to the ocean and a significant decrease in the return of adult sockeye. Data gathered from Fish/Shellfish Number 27 (sockeye overescapement) showed low survival of juvenile sockeye from the 1989 escapement year (Schmidt 1991). Hydroacoustic and tow net surveys showed low levels of juveniles in the lake in the fall of 1990, and smolt enumeration in the spring of 1990 and 1991 showed reduced levels of migrant smelts. This information indicates that a significantly reduced number of sockeye will return as four, five and six year old fish in 1993, 1994 and 1995. According to this data the return may fall below the desired escapement of 150,000 fish. If this occurs, the productivity of the lake would be underutilized and the fishery and local economy would be seriously impacted. Immediate action would be required to avoid this impact. Therefore, supplemental production would be implemented immediately to restore the sockeye run, through the collection of 6 million Red Lake sockeye eggs and the resultant stocking of 4.9 million fry in to the lake. This stocking would produce approximately 146,000 adult sockeye. This restoration project would cost approximately $70,000 annually after FY93 until returns are restored to pre-spill levels.


Keywords

Geographic Regions Kodiak Island
Species Fish - Salmon
Fields of Expertise Ecology

Proposal: PDF Not Available

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 1992

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 1992

Annual Report: 1992: Not Applicable

Final Report: See Project 1653

Publications from this Project: None Available

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Project Number Proposal Annual Reports Final Report Data
1993: 93030 Not Available 1993: Not Applicable
Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets