Microchemical techniques to evaluate priority contaminant sources along the migration routes of Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
Adult Chinook and Coho Salmon migrate to a variety of marine regions around the North Pacific. Along these migration routes, the contaminants they encounter and consume will vary. These returning salmon are consumed by humans and Southern Resident Killer Whales, and the health risk they pose will be dependent on their migration routes and diets. Otolith microchemistry provides a record of where salmon have been throughout their lives. By comparing the microchemistry of returning salmon to the microchemical profiles of various marine regions, we can determine the migration route undertaken by each individual salmon and relate that to its contaminant load. We propose to compare the microchemical profile of various marine regions to returning Chinook and Coho Salmon to determine the different contaminant loads associated with migration routes and diet.