Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Alaska
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Alaska Project

Migration patterns and energetics of adult Chinook Salmon in Alaska rivers

August 2015 - May 2017


Participating Agencies

  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Adult Chinook Salmon undertake extensive and energetically costly migrations between food resources in the ocean and their freshwater spawning habitats, requiring them to adapt behavioral and physiological traits that allow them to successfully reach their spawning streams and reproduce. Such adaptations may be shaped by physical factors in the environment and individual- and population-specific biological characteristics. Chinook Salmon in North America are important resources for both United States and Canadian stakeholders, but relatively little is known about their freshwater migration patterns and energetic status in Southeast Alaska. This work is a collaboration between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Given threats from climate change and mining activities, the results of this project will be useful for fisheries researchers as a benchmark for understanding migration behaviors in these Chinook Salmon populations, and our work indicates that integration of measure of energetic status into population monitoring may be a useful tool for creating management practices targeted at facilitating successful migration behaviors and increasing or maintaining body condition for these fish.

Research Publications Publication Date
Courtney, K.R., Falke, J.A., Cox, M.C., and J. Nichols. 2020. Energetic status of Alaskan Chinook Salmon: interpopulation comparisons and predictive modeling using bioelectrical impedance analysis. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 40:209-224. DOI: 10.1002/nafm.10398. February 2020
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Neuneker, K. R. 2017. Migration patterns and energetics of adult Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in Alaska rivers. Unpublished Master's thesis. College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska. 125 pp. December 2017