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Transactions of the American Fisheries Society


Managing weak stocks in mixed-stock fisheries often relies on proxies derived from data-rich indicator stocks. For example, full cohort reconstruction of tagged Klamath River fall run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) of northern California, USA, enables the use of detailed models to inform management. Information gained from this stock is also used in the management of the untagged, threatened California Coastal Chinook (CCC) salmon stock, by capping Klamath harvest rates. To evaluate use of this proxy, we used genetic stock identification (GSI) data to compare the two stocks' size-at-age and ocean distribution, two key factors influencing fishery exposure. We developed methods to account for both sampling and genetic assignment uncertainty in catch estimates. We found that, in 2010, the stocks were similar in size-at-age early in the year (age-3 and age-4), but CCC fish were larger later in the year. The stocks appeared similarly distributed early in the year (2010), but more concentrated near their respective source rivers later in the year (2010 and 2011). If these results are representative, relative fishery impacts on the two stocks might scale similarly early in the year but management changes later in the year might have differing impacts on the two stocks.


Preprint version. Published in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, December 2013, pp. 117-133.

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