USFWS, ADFG Collaborating On Coho Salmon Tagging

The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department if Fish and Game:

ADF&G and USFWS Multi-year Radiotagging Study of Kenai River Adult Coho Salmon

(Soldotna) – ADF&G and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are collaborating on a multi-year radio tagging study of adult coho salmon in the Kenai River drainage. Fall and winter of 2023 is the second year of a three-year study to assess run timing, migratory patterns, and spawning distribution of coho salmon in the Kenai River drainage.

Coho salmon will be captured with drift gillnets in the mainstem Kenai River between August and mid-October from the Funny River confluence downstream to the Sterling Highway bridge. A sample of up to 490 esophageal-implant radio transmitters will be deployed into healthy coho salmon each year. Radiotagged fish will also be tagged with an identifiable five-digit yellow-colored T-bar tag near the base of the dorsal fin. Tagged fish will be radiotracked throughout their migration to spawning grounds using a combination of boat, aerial, and ground surveys, including fixed receiver stations strategically placed throughout the entire Kenai River drainage.

Radiotagged fish can be identified by a small antenna wire trailing from their mouth and a small, yellow-colored tag near the dorsal fin. Anglers are encouraged to call USFWS or ADF&G to report the harvest of tagged fish. Important information to report include frequency, code and burst rate (BI) from the radio tag and/or the five-digit number from the t-bar tag, location, and date of harvest/catch. Anglers can report the information by calling the phone number on the radio transmitter or t-bar tag or by calling ADF&G or USFWS.

For more information, contact USFWS Fishery Biologist Ken Gates at (907) 260-0126 or ADF&G Area Research Biologist Tony Eskelin at (907) 262-9368.

ADF&G and USFWS Multi-year Radiotagging Study of Kenai River Adult Coho Salmon