UpriverVolunteerOver the course of five field seasons, 483 volunteers (360 students!) completed 114 surveys at 81 sites, resulting in 56 nominations to the Anadromous Waters Catalog (AWC).  Armed with minnow traps, GPS units, waterproof cameras, datasheets and other tools for assessing water quality, these volunteers caught, identified, and tallied local fish species in streams throughout the Copper River watershed.

The following tables summarize results:










The second table of results demonstrates that there was additional habitat not listed in the AWC and therefore not protected by state law. By pooling local expertise we successfully identified new sites to survey that had a high liklihood of resulting in new AWC data. With 100% of nominations accepted by Alaska Department of Fish & Game, Salmon Blitz also demonstrated that engaging citizen scientists was an effective way to add additional data to the AWC.

Types of Fish Found

A total of 14 species were caught during surveys, including the following:

coho Coho salmon were the most abundant fish caught around Cordova and were the targeted species for downriver surveys.

chinook Chinook, or king, salmon primarily spawn in the upper reaches of the watershed.  They were a targeted species due to declining Chinook runs.

sockeye fry

Sockeye, or red, salmon primarily rear in ponds, so it was a surprise to find this sockeye fry during one of our stream surveys in Cordova!   dolly varden dolly varden-light

Dolly Varden were found in most coho streams.


Cutthroat trout are mostly found in swifter, shallower coastal streams. 

Sculpin were found in coastal streams.     stickleback Sticklebacks were abundant in wetlands and ponds.     Arctic grayling
Arctic grayling are only found in the upper part of the watershed.  This specimen was found in Dry Creek by the Glennallen 5th grade class.     longnose sucker
Longnose suckers were also only found in the upper part of the watershed.    Burbot Only one burbot was caught during surveys.  This specimen was found in a tributary of the Copper River south of Gakona.