Physiological and environmental factors affecting the migratory behavior and survival of sockeye and steelhead salmon smolts

The great number and variety of factors influencing the survival of migrating salmon smolts in the early marine environment makes it difficult to understand the causes of recent declines in smolt survival and salmon population productivity. We will combine novel methodologies (biotelemetry and biomarkers) simultaneously to examine a variety of factors influencing the migratory behaviour and survival of sockeye and steelhead smolts in the Salish Sea. Using
small acoustic transmitters, the behaviour and fate of Chilko sockeye and Seymour steelhead smolts will be tracked from release through the Salish Sea. The condition of these same smolts will be assessed through the use of biomarkers for pathogen presence and load, presence of immune- or stress-related responses, and growth potential, to better understand the links between condition during initial outmigration and survival and behaviour in the early marine
environment.

Intern: 
Nathan Furey
Christine Stevenson
Steve Healy
Faculty Supervisor: 
Scott Hinch
Province: 
British Columbia
Partner University: 
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