Stikine and Taku River Chinook Salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawystcha) distribution and migration patterns and their relationship to body condition.

Project Description

The Stikine and Taku Rivers in Southeast Alaska are major producers of Chinook salmon, an ecological, cultural and economically important species to the region. The salmon from these transboundary rivers, with their headwaters in Canada, are jointly managed and harvested by American and Canadian shareholders. A radio telemetry study is being conducted on these rivers in order to better understand the behaviors of these fish, including spawning distribution, migration rates, temporal patterns and dropout rates. In addition to the telemetry information, bioelectrical impedance analysis is being measured on tagged fish to look at the relationship between migration patterns and body condition. One focus of this research will be on the success of fish passing a natural landslide that occurred on the Tahltan River, a tributary of the Stikine in which an estimated 50% of the Chinook salmon return. The May 2014 landslide created a velocity barrier resulting in many fish having to be assisted past the slide. Stationary data logging towers set at multiple locations within the river will collect information on the position and timing of individuals traveling up the rivers and aerial surveys will map the spawning distributions of tagged fish. Results from this project can be used to validate and inform current mark-recapture studies and escapement estimates and help fisheries managers set more accurate harvest limits for Chinook salmon in both American and Canadian fisheries.

Project Funding

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Start Date: 0000-00-00
End Date: 0000-00-00


Research Team

Jeffrey Falke

Jeffrey Falke

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor


  • Freshwater fish ecology and conservation biology
  • Landscape and spatial ecology of freshwater systems
  • Ecology and evolutionary biology of salmonids
  • Climate change impacts on aquatic systems
  • Impacts of introducted species on native aquatic fauna

Full Profile
Research Staff

Kristin Neuneker