Chinook Salmon Age-Sex-Length Program

Overview

The Bethel area Chinook salmon Age-Sex-Length (ASL) Program is conducted by ONC and ADF&G with funding support from OSM. The Chinook salmon ASL information is collected by non-agency participants, primarily subsistence fishermen and household members that sample from their annual harvest from the Bethel area. All people interested in participating in the sampling program will be trained to collect ASL data following standardized protocols as documented by ADF&G. Samplers will be paid $5.00 per complete set of ASL data submitted from 2018-2021, which is a slight increase from prior years.

We will host several trainings this upcoming May for those interested!

To become a sampler, please contact Janessa Esquible at 907-545-2005.

Project Objective:

Estimate the annual ASL composition of Chinook salmon harvested in the Bethel area subsistence fishery.

WHY IS SUBSISTENCE CHINOOK SALMON ASL DATA COLLECTED?

Studies conducted around the state of Alaska are showing a decline in size and age of returning Chinook salmon. This study can help us determine changes to the composition of Chinook salmon age, sex and length. Collecting ASL samples during times of Chinook salmon conservation is especially needed to evaluate the effects of management actions on harvest and escapement quality. Methods to limit subsistence harvest include gear size, time, and area restrictions, which are important factors controlling the ASL composition of the harvest. Integrating the ASL data collection with the harvest surveys will allow us to standardize questions about harvest methods.

ONC employee, Avery Hoffman, assisting fisherman with sampling Chinook salmon at fish camp. 

HOW TO DETERMINE THE AGE, SEX AND LENGTH OF THE CHINOOK SALMON?

AGE: The age of Kuskokwim River salmon are determined by observing scale characteristics and patterns.

SEX: Salmon sex is determined by splitting the fish open and inspecting the internal reproductive organs of the fish. Sometimes, the salmon sex can be determined by visually observing external characteristics.

Length: Biological measurements consist of length in mm generally mid-eye to fork of tail, using a yard stick, and recorded on a sample sheet numbered associated with the scales.

Data form used for age-sex-length sampling of Chinook salmon. 

Instruction sheet for ASL sampling of Chinook salmon. 

 

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