Fisheries & Ecological Services
Alaska Region   


Fairbanks Fish & Wildlife Field Office
Public Outreach and Education- Chena River Salmon


Chena River Salmon Project

The Chena River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) return is one of the largest in the Alaska portion of the Yukon River. The lower river flows through downtown Fairbanks, the 2nd largest city in the state. Surprisingly many residents of the area don’t realize that this river provides very important spawning and rearing habitat for Chinook salmon and resident species like Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus). In the summer of 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) teamed up with local residents and conducted a pilot outreach and education project to learn more about juvenile fish, especially Chinook salmon, in the Chena River. The project was so successful that in 2012, the USFWS partnered with the Tanana Valley Watershed Association (TVWA) to continue and expand the project to include more sites and volunteer samplers. In 2013, TVWA managed the project and added three additional sampling sites. In 2014, the USFWS managed the project and due to staffing shortages reduced the scope of the project drastically. For all four years the objectives were to: 1) use outreach and education to increase the Fairbanks community’s awareness and appreciation for the Chena River Chinook salmon population; 2) use citizen scientists to collect relative abundance information about juvenile fish; and 3) promote stewardship of these important resources throughout the community.


Chena salmon map 2011

Last updated: January 7, 2014