Spiridon Research - Kodiak, Chignik, Alaska Peninsula, and Aleutian Islands

The Spiridon Lake sockeye salmon stocking project was initiated in 1991 in cooperation between the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and the Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association (KRAA

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Location of Spiridon Lake, Telrod Creek and Telrod Cove on Kodiak Island.

Spiridon Lake (57°40' N lat, 153°39' W long) is located on the northwest side of Kodiak Island in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, approximately 74 km southwest of the City of Kodiak. The lake is 9.6 km long, up to 1.6 km wide, and has a surface area of 9.2 km2.

Spiridon Lake is at an elevation of 136 m, has a mean depth of 35 m, and a maximum depth of 82 m. The Spiridon Lake outlet stream (Telrod Creek) is approximately 2 km long and empties into Telrod Cove.

Telrod Creek has three waterfalls that are impassable to anadromous fish. Two waterfalls are located approximately 0.8 km downstream of the lake outlet, and a third waterfall, located near the stream terminus, blocks salmon from migrating further upstream.

Resident fish in Spiridon Lake include: rainbow trout O. mykiss, Dolly Varden char Salvenlinus malma, threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, and freshwater sculpin Cottus aleuticus.

The Pillar Creek hatchery has reared sockeye salmon from a Saltery Lake broodstock for release in Spiridon Lake.

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Sockeye salmon raceways at Pillar Creek hatchery.
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Juvenile salmon are released aerially in May or June as fry or in August as presmolt. The salmon spend one or two winters in Spiridon Lake before they leave the lake as smolt and migrate toward the ocean.

The ADF&G operates a smolt trapping system at Telrod Creek, where smolt are counted as they enter a pipeline system which safely circumnavigates the waterfalls. Samples are collected to determine age and condition of the fish.

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Schematic of the trapping system, and pictures of the Canadian fan traps, dewatering tanks, pipeline, the counting tank and the research team connecting the pipeline to the dewatering tank.

Stocking densities for Spiridon Lake are determined by estimating the lake's rearing capacity based on in-season zooplankton biomass from May through July.

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Inseason zooplankton samples are collected off the floats of a floatplane.
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All returning salmon are harvested in the commercial fishery in the Telrod Cove terminal harvest area.

On average, about 114,000 sockeye salmon have been harvested annually in the Telrod Cove special harvest area.