Evaluation of growth, survival, and recruitment of Chinook salmon in the Stikine and Chilkat rivers

Project Description

The importance of freshwater and marine processes on female Chinook salmon recruitment to reproductive age will be examined in the Stikine and Chilkat rivers (southeastern Alaska) using a combination of long-term scale archive samples, adult abundance estimates, and smolt data sets. These evaluations will allow for the assessment of growth and survival on recruitment within individual stocks by following cohorts from freshwater through marine residence until they return to their natal river as reproductively mature adults. Chinook salmon life history will be parsed into freshwater (pre-smolt and smolt) and marine (post-smolt) life stages to examine rate-dynamics processes (growth, survival, recruitment) that regulate abundance during these life-history periods. Examining Chinook salmon rate-dynamic functions separately in freshwater and marine systems and coupling these findings within the context of large-scale environmental drivers should lend insights into those factors that limit recruitment. This approach and evaluation will allow the development of more accurate and reliable forecasts for making management decisions on Chinook salmon stock status and escapement goals in southeastern Alaska rivers.

Project Funding

Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund
Amount: $199,996
Start Date: 2014-03-00
End Date: 2016-11-00


Research Team

Trent Sutton

Trent Sutton

Principal Investigator

Associate Dean of Academic Programs, Professor


  • Recruitment dynamics of fishes
  • Fish habitat assessment
  • Population biology and ecology of fishes
  • Trophic ecology and food-web dynamics

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Milo Adkison

Milo Adkison

Co-Principal Investigator

Chair, Department of Fisheries; Professor


  • salmon biology and management
  • quantitative techniques
  • biometrics
  • population dynamics
  • modeling and Bayesian methods

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Research Staff

Stephanie Berkman
University of Alaska Fairbanks
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Fisheries Division