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Thread: Copper River Salmon Travel Times

  1. #1

    Default Copper River Salmon Travel Times

    The ADF&G says that it takes approximately 2 weeks for salmon to get from Miles Lake to the Chitina Subdistrict Personal Use Fishery.

    ADF&G and USFW studies summarize info for public consumption with generalities. Actual travel times vary by stock and by time of the season.

    Special Publication No. 11-13
    Management of Salmon Stocks in the Copper River, Report to the Alaska Board of Fisheries: December 27, 2011, Valdez, Alaska
    by Jeremy Botz and Mark A. Somerville

    "Based upon previous migration studies, a 2-week travel period from the Miles Lake sonar to Wood Canyon is used for management purposes from June through mid-July and a 3-week travel period for mid-July until the sonar is removed."

    Spawning Distribution and Run Timing of Copper River Sockeye Salmon, 2007 Final Report
    Final Report for Study 05-501

    "Travel times of radiotagged fish from release at Baird Canyon to first detection at the Baird tracking station averaged 34 h for fishwheel 2 (n = 222) and 17 h for fishwheel 5 (n = 305; Figure 18). Two radiotagged fish were released at fishwheel 1, of which only one was detected at the Baird station 6.6 d later. This fish was detected at the Tazlina tracking station 7.6 d after being detected at Baird and averaged 27 km/d. Fishwheel 5 was located near the Baird tracking station and thus a large proportion of fish were detected immediately following release. Fish released at fishwheels 1 and 2 had to migrate upstream over 1 km before being detected at the Baird station. Seventy-seven percent of fish released at fishwheels 2 and 5 were detected at the Baird station within 1 d of release.

    Travel times for radiotagged sockeye salmon to migrate between the Baird and Lower Haley tracking stations ranged from 1.9 to 36.6 d and averaged 11.2 d (Table 10). Over this 89-km distance, these travel times corresponded to migration speeds ranging from 2.4 km/d to 46.2 km/d. Mean travel times from the Baird tracking station to harvest in the Chitina Subdistrict, Glennallen Subdistrict, and Klutina sport fisheries were 16.2, 22.4, and 35.8 d, respectively."

    NOTE: The Baird Canyon fishwheels are about 1 day upriver from Miles Lake sonar count.

    So, the two week travel period is just an average, and won't necessarily help anybody as to what actually is taking place in the Dipping Zone.

  2. #2
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Wasilla, Alaska/Las Vegas, Nevada


    Cool read, thanks!

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post
    Travel times for radiotagged sockeye salmon to migrate between the Baird and Lower Haley tracking stations ranged from 1.9 to 36.6 days...
    Check out the "Comparison between Miles Lake Escapement/500, Baird Camp Fishwheels, and Canyon Creek Fishwheels" chart on the CRCDFEC site. Looks like it's only taking 2 days for the fish to get from Baird Camp to Canyon Creek, and only 3 days to get there from Miles Lake.


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