Summary of historical escapement data for king, chum, pink ... Summary of Historical Escapement Data

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  • BRISTOL BAY DATA REPORT NO. 85-4

    Summary of Historical Escapement Data for King, Chum, Pink, and Coho Salmon in the Naknek-Kvichak, Egegik

    and Ugashik Drainages 1926-1984.

    By Richard B. Russell Fisheries Biologist

    Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Commercial Fisheries

    King Salmon, Alaska April 1985

    ARLI§ . . Alaska Resources Lihrary & !nf~)fmatJon ScrvJCC~

    Ubrary Bui\(\ing, Smt~ 111 3211 Providence Dnve

    Anchorage. A K 9950R-Hi 1.1

  • AREA PATA REPORTS: This series of reports is designed to facilitate archiving of small data sets and internal agency information. It generally consists of data sets of less significant nature that frequently are combined on an annual basis and published through the ADF&G Technical Data Report-Series. This series also includes noteworthy field observation, feasibility ~tudies, Board of Fisheries Reports and staff meeting notes. To pranote docunentation of as many observations as possible which would otherwise remain unreported, this informal report series receives very little editing, thus caution is recommended in use of data and any analysis persented within.

  • List of Tables.

    List of Figures

    Introduction

    Methods

    Results

    Discussion

    Literature Cited

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

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  • LIST OF TABLES

    Tab 1 e l. Salmon counts, Kvi chak River, 1932-1984 . .

    Table 2.

    Table 3.

    Table 4.

    Table 5.

    Table 6.

    Table 7.

    Table 8.

    Table 9.

    Table 10.

    King salmon escapement counts, Alagnak (Branch) River, 1961-1984. . . . . .

    Chum salmon escapement counts, Alagnak (Branch) River, 1961-1984. . .

    Pink salmon escapement counts, Alagnak (Branch) River, 1961-1984. .

    Coho salmon escapement counts, Alagnak (Branch) River, 1977-1984. . . .

    King salmon escapement counts, Naknek River drainage, 1929-1984 . .

    Chum salmon escapement counts, Naknek River drainage, 1929-1984 .

    Pink salmon escapement counts, Naknek River drainage, 1929-1984 .

    Coho salmon escapement counts, Naknek River drainage, 1930-1984

    King salmon escapement counts, Egegik River drainage, 1932-1984 .

    Table 11. Chum salmon escapement counts, Egegik River

    Table 12.

    Table 13.

    drainage, 1932-1984 .

    Pink salmon escapement counts, Egegik River drainage, 1952-1984

    Coho salmon escapement counts, Egegik River drainage, 1953-1984 .

    Table 14. King salmon escapement counts, Ugashik River drainage, 1926-1984 .

    Table 15. Cnum salmon escapement counts, Ugashik River drainage, :1926-1984 .

    Table 16. Pink salmon escapement counts, Ugashik River drainage, 1926-1984 .

    Table 17. Coho salmon escapement counts, Ugashik River drainage, 1926-1984 . .

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  • Figure 1 Bristol

  • INTRODUCTION

    The Kvichak, Naknek, Egegik, and Ugashik River drainages of Bristol Bay (Figure 1) support runs of sockeye, king, chum, pink, and coho salmon. Sockeye are the most noteworthy species in terms of numbers and commercial value and hence have been studied the most extensively. Total run data (catch plus escapement) are available for sockeye from the early 1950's to the present, permitting managers to evaluate escapement-return relationships and set appropriate escapement goals on a drainage by drainage basis. Total run data for the other four salmon species are far less complete and escape- ment goals have not been set for these species in the above drainages.

    As part of an effort to detail what data exists pertaining to the escapements of king, chum, pink, and coho salmon in east side Bristol Bay drainages a revie\"1 of the literature (both published and unpublished) was conducted. Addi- tional data was extracted from the files of both the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in King Salmon. Results of that review are presented in this report.

    METHODS

    Escapement data for king, chum, pink, and coho salmon have been collected periodically from east side Bristol Bay drainages since 1926. Data have been obtained using a variety of methods including \"leirs, aerial surveys, foot surveys, float surveys, and counting towers. Numerous observers have participated in the data collection. Often projects generating the data \"/ere principally targeting on other species (generally sockeye salmon) so entries pertaining to the above incidental species may be incomplete or not totally descriptive for use as an escapement index for a particular stream in a given year. Data listed in this report are subject to the above constraints. Raw counts rather than expansions are presented whenever a distinction could be made between them.

    Any potential user of the data listings in this report should consider the above constraints and use the data with appropriate caution. In nearly all cases the escapement data presented should be considered index values rather than total escapement values.

    RESULTS

    Kvichak River

    Historic Kvichak River escapement counts for king, chum, pink, and coho salmon are presented in Table 1. Very little data exists for any species other than pink salmon. Aerial ·surveys during six years have yielded a mean escapement index value of 115,000 pinks. With a few more years data some escapement return relationships for pinks may become apparent. King salmon are known to spawn in the upper mainstem Kvichak, Pecks Creek, Kaskanak Creek, and possibly in some smaller tributaries such as Yellow Creek. Afew also enter Iliamna Lake but the numbers are very small. The data in Table 1 are too spotty to yeild anything other than a possible range of spal"lning indices for kings. There is

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  • Table l. Salmon counts,ll Kvichak River, 1932-1984.

    Year King Salmon Chum Salmon Pink Salmon Coho Salmon

    1932 y 6 '113 l ,018 200 No surveys

    1966 67,500 "

    1968 88,000 "

    1976 35 16 'l 00 "

    1978 440,000 "

    1980 1,000 25,000 "

    1984 200 165,000 "

    Totals 7,348 l ,018 801 ,800 Mean Index l ,837 l ,018 114,543

    ll Aerial peak counts unless otherwise noted

    y Weir count

    (Literature Cited: 2 and 5)

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  • only one observation regarding Kvichak chums and there are no data on file describing coho escapements although small numbers of cohos have been re- corded at locations around Iliamna Lake such as the Lower Talarik Creek weir (n = 109 in 1973, n = 13 in 1974). Additional surveys will be necessary in the future if escapement trend information for the above species is desired.

    Alagnak (Branch) River

    Salmon escapement counts for species other than sockeye date from 1961 to the present. King salmon counts are presented in Table 2. Counts from both count- ing towers and aerial surveys are presented with the aerial counts probably serving as a more reliable indicator in this case. Counting tower operations generally terminated during early August while kings were still migrating up the river to spawning areas so fish were probably missed at the tower for that reason. Additionally, kings are often mid river migrants making them more difficult to count from counting towers. The aerial surveys conducted since at least 1968 were scheduled to target directly on spawning kings and they provide the most useful indicator of king escapement trends. Overall, aerial surveys have yielded a mean annual escapement index of 5,348 kings in the Alagnak River and the run currently appears to be quite healthy. Chum salmon counts are presented in Table 3. Aerial survey counts during recent years have yi e 1 ded much higher mean index va 1 ues than tower counts from earl i er-·years. It is strongly suspected that the aerial survey counts again are a more accurate indicator of chum escapement magnitudes than the earlier tower counts for the same reasons mentioned above in discussing king counts. The Alagnak is the most significant chum salmon spawning area in the Naknek-Kvichak drainage and as such should be considered a prime chum index stream for future escapement monitoring.

    Alagnak River pink salmon counts are presented in Table 4. Both counting tower and aerial counts are listed but much more reliance should be placed on the aerial counts. Again, the tower counts were terminated too early to yeild accurate pink tallies and also many pinks spawn in lower river areas downstream of the counting tower sites. An even year mean escapement index of 283,079 pinks has been obtained.

    Alagn

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