Presentation Title

Effects of phytoplankton blooms on juvenile salmon in Cowichan Bay in 2014 and 2015.

Session Title

The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project- Novel Approaches, Project Status and Key Findings

Conference Track

Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Abstract

As part of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, a pioneer research was initiated to study the effects of phytoplankton dynamics on wild juvenile salmon. During a 2 year observation period in Cowichan Bay we found strong evidence of phytoplankton blooms having impact on juvenile salmon. During high biomass blooms, Chinook salmon significantly reduced feeding with a two fold increase in the proportion of empty stomachs. Change in the behavior of Chinook salmon and a 25 fold increase in post pit-tagging mortality was also associated with a bloom of Heterosigma akashiwo. High concentrations of mechanically harmful Chaetoceros convolutus and C. concavicorne appeared to cause lesions and necrosis in salmon gills. These observations suggest that algal blooms and/or their absence in coastal waters could have profound impacts on juvenile salmon survival.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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Effects of phytoplankton blooms on juvenile salmon in Cowichan Bay in 2014 and 2015.

2016SSEC

As part of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, a pioneer research was initiated to study the effects of phytoplankton dynamics on wild juvenile salmon. During a 2 year observation period in Cowichan Bay we found strong evidence of phytoplankton blooms having impact on juvenile salmon. During high biomass blooms, Chinook salmon significantly reduced feeding with a two fold increase in the proportion of empty stomachs. Change in the behavior of Chinook salmon and a 25 fold increase in post pit-tagging mortality was also associated with a bloom of Heterosigma akashiwo. High concentrations of mechanically harmful Chaetoceros convolutus and C. concavicorne appeared to cause lesions and necrosis in salmon gills. These observations suggest that algal blooms and/or their absence in coastal waters could have profound impacts on juvenile salmon survival.