2010 estimates of coho escapement in Susitna River
I am starting a new thread as the other threads keep getting diverted with discussions of science and religion. So let me try again and hope we can stay on topic.
The ADF&G released a report Fishery Data Series 13-05 which gives an estimate of chum and coho salmon entering the Susitna River in 2010. There are a number of interesting findings in this report.
1) the chum escapement was estimated at 151k for the mainstem Susitna and 206K for the Yentna River for a total of 357K (I rounded to the nearest thousand). The commercial harvest by the drift fleet of chum salmon in UCI was 217K and that if for all stocks which includes Central District systems on the west side of the inlet.
2) the coho salmon estimate was 73k for the mainstem Susitna and 123k for the Yentna for a total of 196k. The commercial drift harvest for all stocks of coho was 110k.
3). The distribution of spawners for both chum and coho salmon are defined based on tag recoveries and radio tagged fish. The number of fish found in the eastside road systems is pretty minimal relative to the total number tagged.
4) at Flathorn tagging site fish tagged on the west bank went into the Yentna and those on the eastbank up the mainstem.
Given that the Susitna is only one of many coho producing systems in the Northern District these results tend to confirm the low exploitation rate from previous studies.
These results also make it very clear that reducing the drift harvest will do little for allocation purposes. Most coho went up the Yentna River and were not available to most anglers.
These studies have continued since 2010 but no report is out for the other years. However, 2009 and 2010 spawner distribution was not that much different.
Thanks for posting this information. Alaska Salmon Alliance is holding an open house forum for all gear groups to discuss cook inlet issues at the cook inlet aquaculture building in Kenai on Sept.26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 :30 p.m.. Hopefully,with posts with great information such as yours, as well as efforts of the asa, the various user groups can get away from all the fingerpointing and work together to confront the real issues impacting the salmon returns.