This indicator estimates the abundances of the 22 Chinook salmon populations from five Puget Sound regions as measured by the number of natural-origin adult fish on the spawning grounds. The geometric mean of the annual abundance for the most recent 5-year period is compared to the geometric mean of the 5-year baseline period (after ESA listing occurred) to tell us whether salmon recovery efforts are achieving the desired effect of improving population abundance.
Chinook salmon natural-origin spawner abundance of each population in Puget Sound, shown by geographic region. The geometric mean of the annual abundance between 1999-2003 is compared to the geometric mean between 2014-2018. The + and - symbols indicate that the population increased or declined, respectively, over the time period (* symbol indicates the change was statistically significantly).
Key Indicator Results
There is little sign of recovery of Puget Sound Chinook populations in each biogeographic region, and most populations remain far below their recovery planning targets adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service. On the other hand, the majority of populations have not decreased significantly in abundance when comparing the time period around listing to the last five years.
Estimates of spawning abundance of the 22 Puget Sound Chinook populations are not changing appreciably. Two populations declined and two increased significantly between the most recent 5-year period (2014-2018) and the baseline reference period (1999-2003). The increases were for the Suiattle, Upper Sauk populations (both in the Whidbey Basin region) and the declines were for the White River and Puyallup populations (both in the Central/South region).
In all regions, population abundance has changed very little since the baseline reference period, and these values remain far below their recovery planning targets.
The 2018 interim targets set by the Puget Sound Partnership have not been met.
Stop the overall decline and start seeing improvements in wild Chinook abundance in 2-4 populations in each biogeographic region by 2020.