Presentation Abstract

Seattle’s waterfront is a key migration route for juvenile Pacific salmon including: Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), and chum (Oncorhynchus keta). The hardwired tendency of these salmon to inhabit nearshore waters results in close association with coastline urbanization, including piers and seawalls. Part of Seattle’s seawall was replaced in 2018 with enhancements intended to aid the movement and distribution of juvenile salmon. These enhancements include: light-penetrating glass blocks in the overhanging sidewalk to decrease shade in the water below, a bench along the seawall to restore shallow water depths, and textured seawall and shelves for invertebrate colonization. The objective of our research is to study the effectiveness of the seawall enhancements on improving juvenile salmon habitat. We used a high-frequency acoustic camera mounted to the hull of a kayak to quantify salmon and other fish population densities along enhanced and original seawall habitats. Acoustic surveys during April-August 2019 compared salmon distributions and densities 1) between enhanced and original seawall habitat and a reference beach, 2) during day and night, 3) by overhead structures with varying ambient light, and 4) compared to fish densities from snorkel surveys. Preliminary results suggest higher salmon densities occur in 1) enhanced seawall sites compared to old seawall sites and the reference beach, 2) new pier enhanced corridor compared to old piers, and 3) nighttime enhanced corridor compared to daytime. Two main implications are that the seawall enhancements are important to juvenile salmon both during the day and night, and that juvenile salmon may still navigate more around pier ends along the old seawall that is not enhanced. Results from this study can be used to evaluate the cost-benefit of fish-friendly coastal armoring for the next phase of Seattle’s seawall and at similar sites throughout the world.

Session Title

Track: Shorelines, Estuaries & Rivers – Posters

Conference Track

Shorelines, Estuaries & Rivers

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_4702

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Share

COinS
 
Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

Measuring the effectiveness of Seattle’s seawall enhancements on juvenile salmon-an acoustic perspective

Seattle’s waterfront is a key migration route for juvenile Pacific salmon including: Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), and chum (Oncorhynchus keta). The hardwired tendency of these salmon to inhabit nearshore waters results in close association with coastline urbanization, including piers and seawalls. Part of Seattle’s seawall was replaced in 2018 with enhancements intended to aid the movement and distribution of juvenile salmon. These enhancements include: light-penetrating glass blocks in the overhanging sidewalk to decrease shade in the water below, a bench along the seawall to restore shallow water depths, and textured seawall and shelves for invertebrate colonization. The objective of our research is to study the effectiveness of the seawall enhancements on improving juvenile salmon habitat. We used a high-frequency acoustic camera mounted to the hull of a kayak to quantify salmon and other fish population densities along enhanced and original seawall habitats. Acoustic surveys during April-August 2019 compared salmon distributions and densities 1) between enhanced and original seawall habitat and a reference beach, 2) during day and night, 3) by overhead structures with varying ambient light, and 4) compared to fish densities from snorkel surveys. Preliminary results suggest higher salmon densities occur in 1) enhanced seawall sites compared to old seawall sites and the reference beach, 2) new pier enhanced corridor compared to old piers, and 3) nighttime enhanced corridor compared to daytime. Two main implications are that the seawall enhancements are important to juvenile salmon both during the day and night, and that juvenile salmon may still navigate more around pier ends along the old seawall that is not enhanced. Results from this study can be used to evaluate the cost-benefit of fish-friendly coastal armoring for the next phase of Seattle’s seawall and at similar sites throughout the world.