Evaluation of growth, survival, and recruitment of Chinook salmon in the Taku and Unuk rivers

Project Description

For this proposed research, we will examine the importance of freshwater and marine processes on Chinook salmon recruitment to the age of reproduction in southeastern Alaska rivers. To accomplish this goal, we will examine Chinook salmon rate-dynamic functions separately in freshwater and marine systems and then couple these findings within the context of large-scale environmental drivers. This approach and subsequent evaluation will allow for the development of more accurate and reliable forecasts for making management decisions on Chinook salmon stock status and escapement goals in Southeast Alaska rivers. The specific objectives of this study are as follows:), (1. Using archived scale samples, conduct a retrospective analysis of the effects and relationships of freshwater and marine growth on survival to the age of reproduction for female Chinook salmon by brood year in the Taku and Unuk rivers, Alaska.), (2. Evaluate past and current influences of biological and environmental factors on Chinook salmon smolt migration run timing by brood year in the Unuk River, Alaska. ), (3. Assess the relationship between Chinook salmon smolt biological attributes, smolt migration run timing characteristics, and environmental factors on female survival to the age of reproductive maturity by brood year in the Unuk River, Alaska.

Project Funding

State of Alaska Capital Improvement Program
Amount: $289,466
Start Date: 2013-06-00
End Date: 2018-07-00



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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Co-Principal Investigators

Philip Richards
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Division of Sport Fish