The 2022 run of Copper River king salmon is forecast to be between 23,000-58,000 fish, or 13% below the recent 10-year average (2012-2021) total run of 46,000 fish.
The sustainable escapement goal for these kings is 21,000 to 31,000, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The Copper River Chinook salmon state-space model chosen by state biologists for 2022 simultaneously reconstructs runs and fits a spawner-recruit model to estimate total return, escapement, and recruitment of Copper River Chinooks from 1999 to 2021.
The model uses harvest, age composition, and direct measures of in-river run abundance to estimate parameters that describe the spawner-recruit relationship for this stock. Uncertainty from the run reconstruction is passed through to the spawner-recruit analysis and all relevant data are considered and weighted by their precision. The model accommodates missing data, measurement error in the data, and changes in age at maturity.