Yukon River Salmon Fisheries Harvest

Yukon River Salmon Fisheries Harvest Information

Yukon Territory Harvest

Chinook Salmon

Catches of Chinook salmon in Yukon River fisheries during the ten year period from 1993 to 2002 appear in Table 2 below. Based on the 1993 to 2002 period, the average distribution of the catch in the upper Yukon (the Canadian section of the Yukon drainage excluding the Porcupine River) was as follows: 32% in the commercial fishery, 65% in the First Nation fishery, 2% in the recreational fishery and 1% in the domestic fishery.

Table 2. Canadian catches of Yukon River Chinook salmon: 1993 to 2002 (2002 is preliminary)
Year Upper Yukon Aboriginal Commercial Catch Recreational Catch Domestic Catch Total Upper Yukon Test Fishery Catch Porcupine River Aboriginal
1993 5,576 10,350 300 243 16,469 142
1994 8,089 12,028 300 373 20,790 428
1995 7,945 11,146 700 300 20,091 796
1996 8451 10,164 790 141 19,546 66
1997 8,888 5,311 1,230 288 15,717 811
1998 4,687 390 closed 24 5,101 737 99
1999 8,804 3,160 177 213 12,455 114
2000 4,068 closed 2 closed 4,068 761 50
2001 7,416 1,351 141 89 8,954 767 370
2002 7,143 708 43 59 8,077 1,036 188
Average 7,107 5,361 368 173 14,090 298

Chum Salmon

Catches of chum salmon in Yukon River fisheries during the ten year period from 1993 to 2002 are summarised in Table 3 below. On average, 63% of the recent upper Yukon chum salmon catch occurs in the commercial fishery and 37% in the First Nation fishery.

Table 3. Canadian catches of Yukon River chum salmon: 1992 to 2002
Year Upper Yukon Aboriginal Commercial Catch Domestic Catch Total Upper Yukon Porcupine River Aboriginal
1992 304 18,576 0 18,880 1,935
1993 4,660 7,762 0 12,422 1,668
1994 5,319 30,035 0 35,354 2,654
1995 1,099 39,012 0 40,111 5,489
1996 1,260 20,069 0 21,329 3,025
1997 1,218 8,068 0 9,286 6,294
1998 1,792 Closed 0 1,792 6,159
1999 3,234 10,176 0 13,410 4,457
2000 2,917 1,319 0 4,236 5,000
2001 3,027 2,198 3 5,228 4.594
2002 3,093 3,065 0 6,158 1,850
Average 2,483 13,744 0 16,227 4,128

Alaska Harvest

Chinook Salmon

Most of the harvest of Canadian-origin Yukon River salmon occurs in Alaska in subsistence, commercial, and recreational fisheries. For Chinook salmon, ADF&G annually estimates the catch of Canadian-origin Chinook salmon by Alaskan fishers through the analysis of scale patterns (SPA). From 1993 through 2002, on average, 52% of the Alaskan catch of Chinook salmon in the Yukon River was comprised of Canadian-origin Chinook salmon. This translates into an average annual catch of approximately 64,200 Canadian-origin Chinook salmon in Alaskan fisheries (Table 4). On average over the past 10 years, 49% of the total Alaskan in-river Chinook salmon harvest is taken in the commercial fishery, 50% in the subsistence fishery and 1% in the recreational fishery.

The recent (1993-2002) average total harvest of Canadian origin Yukon River Chinook is approximately 77,600 (64,200 in the U.S. and 13,400 in Canada). The U.S. catch accounts for approximately 82% of the catch while Canadian fishers harvest about 18% of the total catch.

Table 4. Estimated U.S. catches of Canadian-origin Yukon River Chinook and Fall chum salmon: 1993 to 2002
Chinook salmon Fall chum salmon
Year Total Catch Estimated Cdn-origin % Total catch Estimated Cdn-origin % (Assumed)
1993 163,078 78,804 48% 76,925 23,078 30%
1994 172,315 95,676 56% 131,217 39,365 30%
1995 177,663 99,037 56% 415,547 124,664 30%
1996 138,562 88,895 64% 236,569 70,971 30%
1997 174,625 92,047 53% 154,479 46,344 30%
1998 99,369 46,875 47% 62,869 18,861 30%
1999 124,315 60,984 49% 110,370 33,111 30%
2000 45,308 22,472 50% 40,849 12,255 30%
2001 53,630 23,641 44% 35,154 10,546 30%
2002 69,480 35,225 51% 20,900 6,270 30%
Average 121,835 64,227 52% 139,201 41,760 30%

Fall Chum Salmon

Over the 1993-2002 decade, on average, 77% of the total Alaskan catch of fall chum salmon occurred in the subsistence fishery and 23% were taken by commercial fishers. Stock identification techniques are still being developed for fall chum salmon. Based on preliminary results of genetic stock identification studies and comparisons of spawning abundance throughout the drainage, an assumption that 30 per cent of the Alaskan in-river catch of fall chum salmon is of Canadian-origin, seems reasonable at this time. If true, in recent years, Alaskan fishers annually harvested an average of 41,760 fall chum salmon that originated from the Canadian section of the drainage (Table 4). This represents about 62% of the estimated combined U.S. and Canadian harvest of Yukon River fall chum salmon.