California Polytechnic State University, B.Sc. Journalism
I grew up in the fishy town of Homer, AK, but it took a couple years of perspective at college in California, mixed in with a few summers of working in Bristol Bay and then working for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Homer, before I realized the real fishiness in myself. Since then I’ve been more or less a lost cause, devoting my working hours to Lower Cook Inlet Chinook salmon sport fisheries and much of my free time to catching the buggers with a hook and line instead of a beach seine. I guess the next logical step is studying them. I hope to use this opportunity in grad school to find some answers to the mysteries I’ve observed in the field and while wrestling with the data collected from these stocks, including a change in size-at-age, returns dominated by younger age classes, and male-skewed sex ratios.
My thesis will investigate productivity (recruits per spawner) and age composition trends from Chinook salmon stocks in Cook Inlet and the Yukon River, as well as size-at-age and sex composition of these stocks by brood and return year. The age composition and average size of returning Chinook salmon is important to population productivity due to increased female fecundity with size, age composition that differs between the sexes, and differences in time exposed to marine mortality. I will also examine ocean conditions in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea during the time these Chinook salmon stocks spent in the ocean to identify marine environmental drivers behind the changing demographics of Chinook salmon stocks across the state of Alaska.
Smith, H.I., and M.D. Booz. In prep. Ninilchik River Chinook salmon stock assessment and supplementation, 2016-2018.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Fishery Data Series. Anchorage.
Partners: Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G)
Collaborators: Curry Cunningham
Funding for this work is provided by the Pollock Conservation Cooperative via the Alaska Education Tax Credit Program.