Chinook Salmon Enhancement

Click Here to view a the summary of our progress.

Click Here to view a presentation on technique provided to execute remote egg takes.

Like most of Alaska, the Chinook salmon in the Fish River watershed are slowly dwindling to extremely low numbers. The Native Village of White Mountain (NVWM) deems it necessary to take action by attempting to repopulate Chinook salmon in the Fish River watershed with human interaction via mist air incubation method..

The NVWM has entered into a 10 year agreement with the State of Alaska ADF&G, Division of Commercial Fisheries in hopes of repopulating the Niukluk River (a tributary of the Fish River) with Chinook salmon. The State of Alaska no longer funds this program.

2017 will mark the 3rd year Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation has funded the Chinook Enhancement project.

The NVWM will collect eggs and milt from Chinook salmon from Boston Creek (also a tributary of the Fish River). After fertilization, they will be placed in a MIST air incubator where otolith marks will applied by temperature shocking prior to planting the eyed eggs in the upper Niukluk River. Otolith marking by temperature shocking will be applied for the future use to determine if the Chinook salmon we’ve planted has returned 4 to 6 years after plantation.

The proposed agreement is an experimental project and no guarantees are made for the return of the salmon planted in the Niukluk River, although Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation has used the MIST incubation method in the Nome region with positive salmon returns.

The Chinook Enhancement program is managed by Henry Titus Sr. Mr. Titus has been employed by the NVWM since early in 2010. He started working as the grant writer until funding for that program ran out in late 2010 and since then has been hired as assistant coordinator for their EPA IGAP program. He is also a field leader for ANA and BIA’s in-stream gauging, which monitors the flow in the Ichupak River.