Estimates of the Bycatch of Yukon River Chinook Salmon in U.S. Groundfish Fisheries in the Eastern Bering Sea, 1997-1999

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Estimates of the Bycatch of Yukon River Chinook Salmon in U.S. Groundfish Fisheries in the Eastern Bering Sea, 1997-1999

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Title: Estimates of the Bycatch of Yukon River Chinook Salmon in U.S. Groundfish Fisheries in the Eastern Bering Sea, 1997-1999
Author: Myers, Katherine W.; Walker, Robert V.; Armstrong, Janet L.; Davis, Nancy D.
Abstract: Record low runs of chinook salmon to the Yukon River in the late 1990s intensified concerns about salmon bycatch by U.S. groundfish fisheries in the eastern Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI). We estimated the bycatch of Yukon River chinook salmon by the BSAI groundfish fisheries in 1997-1999, and evaluated the effect of the BSAI bycatch on Yukon River fisheries and resources. Estimated interceptions of Yukon River chinook salmon by the BSAI fisheries were 7,266 fish in 1997, 8,908 fish in 1998, and 3,074 fish in 1999. Adult equivalent (AEQ) bycatch estimates were 6,522 fish in 1997, 7,510 fish in 1998, and 2,721 fish in 1999. The AEQ bycatch was equal to 1-4% of the minimum run, 12-51% of the minimum (lower river) escapement, 10-38% of upper river (Canadian) escapement, 3-35% of the Alaska commercial catch, 6-9% of the Alaska subsistence catch, or 22-84% of the Canadian catch of chinook salmon in the Yukon River in 1997-2000. We conclude that in years when chinook salmon runs are low, even relatively low incidental catches of salmon by non-target marine fisheries may reduce local utilization of chinook salmon
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/19674

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