From 1979 to 1982,188 chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) were tagged with radio transmitters to locate spawning areas in the glacial Kenai River, southcentral Alaska. Results confirmed that an early run entered the river in May and June and spawned in tributaries, and a late run entered the river from late June through August and spawned in the main stem. Spawning peaked during August in tributaries influenced by lakes, but during July in other tributaries. Lakes may have increased fall and winter temperatures of downstream waters, enabling successful reproduction for later spawning fish within these tributaries. This hypothesis assumes that hatching and emergence can be completed in a shorter time in lake-influenced waters. The time of upstream migration and spawning (mid- to late August) of the late run is unique among chinook stocks in Cook Inlet. This behavior may have developed only because two large lakes (Kenai and Skilak) directly influence the main-stem Kenai River. If run timing is genetically controlled, and if the various components of the two runs are isolated stocks that have adapted to predictable stream temperatures, there are implications for stock transplantation programs and for any activities of man that alter stream temperatures.
|Title||Comparisons of spawning areas and times for two runs of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Kenai River, Alaska|
|Authors||C. V. Burger, R.L. Wilmot, D.B. Wangaard|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Western Fisheries Research Center|