Kuskokwim ASL Program

ASL Program is funded by State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Salmon age, sex, and length (ASL) data are collected annually from sampled commercial and subsistence harvests, escapement, run timing and abundance monitoring projects in the AYK Region. Scales are collected primarily to determine the age of fish, but may also be examined for growth patterns. ASL data have been collected in the Kuskokwim Area since 1961. All salmon species have been sampled but the emphasis has been on chum and Chinook salmon.

AGE: Scales collected from salmon are stored on gum cards along with an acetate impression used to determine age. The scales are collected by subsistence fisherman during their fishing prep and processing. Using a tweezers three scales are plucked from the salmon above the lateral line and behind the dorsal fin and before the adipose fin. After cleaning away the slim and grim. The scale is placed smooth side down on a collection card.

Sex: Gender of a salmon is determined by cutting into the vent, in front of the anal fin, 3-4 inches to verify if salmon is male or female. By confirming physical features or by visual confirmation of salmon eggs or yoke sac, and  recorded on the sample sheet numbered associated with the scales.

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.

The location of capture for the sampled salmon consists of the general location of the harvest area or more specific location code for the project (weir, tower, test fishery, etc.). Capture gear (or method type) may also be included in the data record.

This data type consists of biological measurements of individual salmon (Oncorhynchus sp) sampled from fishery harvests or research projects.  Data are generally collected as a sample from a larger population with the intent that the sample’s age, length, or sex composition will be representative of the larger population.

To become a member of the Kuskokwim ASL Program, please call our local Fishery Technicians: 907-543-2608 or cellphone: 907-545-1272

We offer on site training and payment for samples that are collected.