Pacific Salmon Foundation: Salmon Watersheds Program

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Klukshu Sockeye 2016 Field Studies Summary Report

author Pestal, G.; Etherton, P.; Petkovich, D.
published year 2017
species sockeye
location Alsek River
subjects Transboundary Region, DNA analysis, population structure
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Two linked projects were implemented in 2016 to investigate the population structure of Klukshu Sockeye. Adult Sockeye were sampled on the spawning grounds and at Klukshu weir, where radio tags were applied and tissue samples for DNA analysis were collected. Sockeye fry and smolts were sampled for DNA at various sites throughout the watershed using different gears. Adult and juvenile Sockeye were successfully sampled at sites identified based on traditional and local knowledge, earlier studies, and observations during the 2016 project.

The total run size of Sockeye past Klukshu weir in 2016 was 7,584. 820 adults (11%) were sampled at the weir for sex, length, and scales as part of DFO’s regular weir operation. For most of these DNA samples and valid genotype readings were obtained. A subset of the weir sample were tagged (165 tags), and a final destination could be determined for most of the tags. Weekly DNA samples and tags were spread to cover the full migration period, but with a proportionally larger sampling effort during the early migration before August 15th. Results clearly point to two distinct populations of Sockeye in the Klukshu.