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Project Overview

Associated Projects

Adult Salmon Research

Spawning Distribution
Redd Characteristics
Creel survey
Carcass Counts
Hatchery Counts

Juvenile Salmon Research

Habitat Preference

Migration Research

Migration Timing


This project is providing important information about the wild production of Chinook salmon in the Salmon River.

Other projects conducted around the Basin by agencies, universites and other partners are documenting wild reproduction of salmon and trout, and providing managers with other scientific knowledge needed to effectively manage this highly-valued diverse fishery.


Natural Reproduction of Chinook Salmon in the Salmon River, NY

Research Activities and Results of 2004   

Chinook salmon Carcass Counts
Chinook salmon die after spawning, so any fish not taken by anglers or the hatchery end up dead in the river. Carcass surveys were conducted weekly at nine sites beginning on September 4th, 2004. The sites were chosen to represent the river from the lower to the river mouth, with three sites each located in the lower, middle, and upper sections. Information including length, sex, and spawning condition (full or spent) was collected from all carcasses. Each carcass was tagged with a plastic cable tied through the jaw to ensure that it would not be recounted.


NYSG Scholar Dustin W. Everitt handles a fresh Chinook salmon carcass
on the Salmon River mainstream

Preliminary Results

Most carcasses were found in the upper river, with the three upstream sites contributing 76% percent to the total carcass count (Figure 6). The carcasses varied in sizes with the average female being 83.3 cm and the average male at 81.7 cm.

Figure 6.
Percent of total carcasses distributed by site.


The peak for carcass abundance occurred during the weeks of Oct. 16th, 23rd and 30th ( Figure 7). During this period, a transition occurred in the spawning condition of the fish. In the weeks leading to the peak of carcass abundance, most carcasses were full (Figure 8). During and after peak carcass abundance, most carcasses were spent.

Figure 7. Weekly carcass abundance, showing a peak during the 8th week of the study.


Page last modified October 30, 2015

Project Cooperators

New York
Department of Environmental Conservation

Project funded by New York Sea Grant