To evaluate the success and effectiveness of the Association’s programs, KRAA and ADF&G biologists implement projects centered on monitoring and evaluating juvenile salmon survival and adult salmon returns.
Spiridon Lake/Telrod Cove
Annual sockeye salmon smolt emigrations from Spiridon Lake are enumerated and sampled for age and size to assess growth, juvenile survival and smolt-to-adult survival. Additionally, sockeye salmon harvested in the Spiridon Bay Special Harvest Area (SBSHA), located at Telrod Cove, are monitored by KRAA staff from mid-June to early August. Monitoring duties include estimating the build-up of returning sockeye salmon, estimating and sampling the sockeye salmon harvest, and estimating the incidental harvest. KRAA also collects otoliths from sockeye harvested inside Telrod Cove and sockeye harvested in adjacent statistical areas. These collections will continue over the next several years and will allow KRAA to evaluate the success of the sockeye smolt net pen project as well the overall contribution of the Spiridon Lake fry release.
Waterfall Lakes/Perenosa Bay
To quantify sockeye salmon returns to the Waterfall Bay Special Harvest Area (WBSHA), ADF&G and KRAA have been monitoring the annual commercial harvest since 1995. Commercial harvest monitoring duties also include the installation and maintenance of a barrier net in the estuary of Little Waterfall Bay. The barrier net provides fishermen the opportunity to harvest all of the returning sockeye salmon to the WBSHA. Note: This monitoring project is suspended. There were no fish released in this area from 2011 to 2014.
Hidden Lake/Foul Bay
Sockeye salmon returning to Foul Bay are harvested in the Foul Bay Special Harvest Area (FBSHA). Through KRAA funding, ADF&G annually monitors the commercial harvest and collects scale samples. Lake limnology data is collected to evaluate the response of the lake’s zooplankton community to predation by stocked juvenile salmon and to determine stocking levels. Additionally, freshwater growth and fry-to-adult survival data are collected and evaluated.
KRAA provides funding and personnel to ADF&G to install and operate the weir at Saltery Lake on an annual basis. Once escapement goals are met, KRAA can utilize adult sockeye salmon for Pillar Creek Hatchery broodstock. Saltery sockeye are targeted by subsistence, sport and commercial fishermen.
Frazer Lake Fish Pass
ADF&G and KRAA work in collaboration to operate the Frazer fish pass and weir for the duration of the sockeye return. To estimate the abundance of smolt, an incline plane trap is installed in the upper reaches of the Dog Salmon River and fished May through early July. Throughout the emigration, age, weight and length data are collected daily.