Yukon River Pilot Station
Sonar Site

Estimating Yukon River salmon passage at the Pilot Station sonar site is a formidable challenge.  The site is in a section of the river that is more than a half-mile wide, where large runs of multiple species arrive at the same time and where spring breakup flushes rafts of trees and heavy silt downstream.  The Alaska Department of Fish and Game operates the site despite these challenges to provide fisheries managers with timely data on salmon abundance. Managers also rely on other sources of information including, a test fishery in Emmonak, reports from fishermen and other sonar sites in the Yukon drainage. Yukon fisheries management is complex. Many of the salmon that migrate into the Yukon River come from Canadian origin stocks. These salmon are managed under an agreement between the US and Canada to ensure enough of them cross the border to spawn and to provide fishing opportunities on both sides of the border. Yukon River salmon are important to native heritage in both countries supporting 12,000 Alaskan subsistence fishermen and 4,000 Canadian First Nation fishermen.

 
Yukon River Pilot Station
>The Site and River

The Pilot Station sonar site is in the lower section of Alaska’s longest river and along the widest stretch of river in which ADF&G uses sonar to detect fish. Also in the lower Yukon River, riverbed profiles, silt and debris levels can fluctuate dramatically.

 
Yukon River Pilot State Sonar Site
>The Fish

Large numbers of many species of fish mingle in the lower Yukon River. Learn more about the rivers’ fish species and the Yukon salmon that ADF&G monitors with sonar.

Yukon River Pilot State Sonar Site
>Sonar Tools

The Pilot Station sonar site uses two types of shore-based sonar technology—split beam and DIDSON—to detect fish.

Yukon River Pilot State Sonar Site
>Other Tools

Pilot Station sonar site estimates rely on data collected with several tools in addition to shore-based sonar including gillnets and side-scan sonar.

Yukon River - Pilot Station

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Yukon River Pilot Station

Yukon River Pilot Station
Photo Gallery

See Yukon River Pilot Station sonar site gillnetting, sonar activities, Yukon salmon and more.

Yukon River Pilot Station
Yukon River Pilot Station Sonar Site on Radio
ADF&G continually tests new methods and tools to achieve better and better estimates at the Yukon River Pilot Station sonar site. Listen to on-site reports on the latest tagging, gillnetting and sonar technogy tools and methods ADF&G is using at the site in the following three radio broadcasts, originally aired on Nome's KNOM in 2011.
Pilot Station Acoustic Tag Story
Pilot Station Gillnet Story
Pilot Station Side Scan Story
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