Event Title

Using salmon to sample the Salish Sea: diets of recreationally harvested Chinook and Coho salmon as an ecosystem monitoring tool

Presentation Abstract

In addition to their economic, social and cultural importance, Chinook and Coho Salmon are key players in the Salish Sea ecosystem. They are at times dominant predatory fish in epipelagic waters and are important prey for marine mammals. Chinook Salmon in particular are critically important as the primary prey of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. Surprisingly, data on the diets of adult Chinook and Coho Salmon in the Canadian Salish Sea (Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca) are sparse, with no published work since the 1980s and a total lack of information on winter diets. We are seeking, in partnership with recreational anglers, to develop a low-cost, ongoing program to sample Chinook and Coho Salmon diets throughout the year from around the Canadian Salish Sea. We report results of our pilot year (2017) which indicate regional and seasonal variation in Chinook Salmon diet and corroborate recent observations of forage fish dynamics in the Salish Sea. This program has the potential to complement existing and future fishery-independent surveys in elucidating natural and anthropogenic changes in the ecosystem. We welcome input from, and collaborations with, other Salish Sea researchers to maximize the value of this citizen science initiative.

Session Title

Posters: Species & Food Webs

Conference Track

SSE18: Posters

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE18-108

Start Date

5-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

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

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

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.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 11:30 AM Apr 5th, 1:30 PM

Using salmon to sample the Salish Sea: diets of recreationally harvested Chinook and Coho salmon as an ecosystem monitoring tool

In addition to their economic, social and cultural importance, Chinook and Coho Salmon are key players in the Salish Sea ecosystem. They are at times dominant predatory fish in epipelagic waters and are important prey for marine mammals. Chinook Salmon in particular are critically important as the primary prey of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. Surprisingly, data on the diets of adult Chinook and Coho Salmon in the Canadian Salish Sea (Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca) are sparse, with no published work since the 1980s and a total lack of information on winter diets. We are seeking, in partnership with recreational anglers, to develop a low-cost, ongoing program to sample Chinook and Coho Salmon diets throughout the year from around the Canadian Salish Sea. We report results of our pilot year (2017) which indicate regional and seasonal variation in Chinook Salmon diet and corroborate recent observations of forage fish dynamics in the Salish Sea. This program has the potential to complement existing and future fishery-independent surveys in elucidating natural and anthropogenic changes in the ecosystem. We welcome input from, and collaborations with, other Salish Sea researchers to maximize the value of this citizen science initiative.