Chinook Salmon Scale-based Age Estimation

Last modified on Dec 28, 2022

Alaska Department of Fish and Game personnel are tasked with providing age data in order to improve the basic understanding of the population dynamics of Alaskan Chinook salmon. Sustainable management of Chinook salmon relies on the age data that is used in population dynamics models to set management parameters like escapement goals and harvest limits, therefore, minimizing error in age data collection is an essential part of sustainably managing fisheries. Consequently, the Chinook salmon scale-based age study team proposed to the Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program with the following objectives:

  1. quantify the variability in Chinook salmon ages for Alaska stocks,
  2. publish a procedure guideline document and dynamic wiki for estimating Chinook salmon ages from scales, and
  3. examine the impacts of estimates of uncertainty on Chinook salmon escapement goals.

Objectives (1) and (3) above relate to the Chinook Age Study. To meet objective (2), we are synthesizing documents estimating age for Chinook salmon populations across Alaska in a Salmon Scale Wiki. This wiki provides general background information on scale morphology and preparation, as well as descriptions of methods used to measure precision and accuracy of age estimates.

Note: This project received funding under award NA16NMF4270252 from NOAA Fisheries Service, in cooperation with the Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA Fisheries.