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Analysis of otolith strontium (Sr) or strontium-to-calcium (Sr:Ca) ratios provides a powerful tool to reconstruct the chronology of migration among salinity environments for diadromous salmonids. Although use of this method has been validated by examination of known individuals and translocation experiments, it has never been validated under controlled experimental conditions. In this study, incorporation of otolith Sr was tested across a range of salinities and resulting levels of ambient Sr and Ca concentrations in juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus rnykiss), and Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus)....
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Chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) are the most abundant species of salmon spawning in the Yukon River drainage system, and they support important personal use, subsistence, and commercial fisheries. Chum salmon returning to the Tanana River in Interior Alaska are a significant contribution to the overall abundance of Yukon River chum salmon and an improved understanding of habitat use is needed to improve conservation of this important resource. We characterized spawning habitat of chum salmon using the mainstem Tanana River as part of a larger study to document spawning distributions and habitat use in this river. Areas of spawning activity were located using radiotelemetry and aerial helicopter surveys. At 11 spawning...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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American shad are native to the Atlantic coast of North America and were successfully introduced to the Pacific coast in the 1870s. They are now more abundant in the Columbia River than are its native salmon. As in their native range, Columbia River American shad are anadromous and have been assumed to solely exhibit an ‘ocean-type’ life history, characterized by a short period of juvenile rearing in freshwater, followed by seaward migration and saltwater entry before age-1, with sexually mature individuals returning to freshwater to spawn beginning at age-3. During October 2007, emigrating juvenile American shad were captured in the juvenile fish monitoring facility at Bonneville Dam (river kilometer 235) on the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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The biogeochemical cycle of mercury will be influenced by climate change, particularly at higher latitudes. Investigations of historical mercury accumulation in lake sediments inform future predictions as to how climate change might affect mercury biogeochemistry; however, in regions with a paucity of data, such as the thermokarst-rich Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska (ACP), the trajectory of mercury accumulation in lake sediments is particularly uncertain. Sediment cores from three thermokarst lakes on the ACP were analyzed to understand changes in, and drivers of, Hg accumulation over the past ~ 100 years. Mercury accumulation in two of the three lakes was variable and high over the past century (91.96 and 78.6...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Aquatic Sciences
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Interstitial water temperature within spawning habitats of salmonids may differ from surface-water temperature depending on intragravel flow paths, geomorphic setting, or presence of groundwater. Because survival and developmental timing of salmon are partly controlled by temperature, monitoring temperature within gravels used by spawning salmonids is required to adequately describe the environment experienced by incubating eggs and embryos. Here we describe a simple method of deploying electronic data loggers within gravel substrates with minimal alteration of the natural gravel structure and composition. Using data collected in spawning sites used by summer and fall chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta from two streams...
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Lake ecosystems in the Arctic are changing rapidly due to climate warming. Lakes are sensitive integrators of climate-induced changes and prominent features across the Arctic landscape, especially in lowland permafrost regions such as the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. Despite many studies on the implications of climate warming, how fish populations will respond to lake changes is uncertain for Arctic ecosystems. Least Cisco (Coregonus sardinella) is a bellwether for Arctic lakes as an important consumer and prey resource. To explore the consequences of climate warming, we used a bioenergetics model to simulate changes in Least Cisco production under future climate scenarios for lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology and Evolution
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Climate change is affecting arctic and subarctic ecosystems, and anadromous fish such as Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp. are particularly susceptible due to the physiological challenge of spawning migrations. Predicting how migratory timing will change under Arctic warming scenarios requires an understanding of how environmental factors drive salmon migrations. Multiple mechanisms exist by which environmental conditions may influence migrating salmon, including altered migration cues from the ocean and natal river. We explored relationships between interannual variability and annual migration timing (2003–2014) of Sockeye Salmon O. nerka in a subarctic watershed with environmental conditions at broad, intermediate,...
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In the warming Arctic, aquatic habitats are in flux and salmon are exploring their options. Adult Pacific salmon, including sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka), coho (O. kisutch), Chinook (O. tshawytscha), pink (O. gorbuscha) and chum (O. keta) have been captured throughout the Arctic. Pink and chum salmon are the most common species found in the Arctic today. These species are less dependent on freshwater habitats as juveniles and grow quickly in marine habitats. Putative spawning populations are rare in the North American Arctic and limited to pink salmon in drainages north of Point Hope, Alaska, chum salmon spawning rivers draining to the northwestern Beaufort Sea, and small populations of chum and pink salmon in Canada’s...
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Kelp forests provide habitat for diverse and abundant fish assemblages, but the extent to which kelp provides a source of energy to fish and other predators is unclear. To examine the use of kelp-derived energy by fishes we estimated the contribution of kelp- and phytoplankton-derived carbon using carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes measured in muscle tissue. Benthic-foraging kelp greenling (Hexagrammos decagrammus) and pelagic-foraging black rockfish (Sebastes melanops) were collected at eight sites spanning ∼35 to 60°N from the California Current (upwelling) to Alaska Coastal Current (downwelling) in the northeast Pacific Ocean. Muscle δ13C values were expected to be higher for fish tissue primarily derived...
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Distributional shifts of biota to higher latitudes and elevations are presumably influenced by species-specific physiological tolerances related to warming temperatures. However, it is establishment rather than dispersal that may be limiting colonizations in these cold frontier areas. In freshwater ecosystems, perennial groundwater springs provide critical winter thermal refugia in these extreme environments. By reconciling the thermal characteristics of these refugia with the minimum thermal tolerances of life stages critical for establishment, we develop a strategy to focus broad projections of northward and upward range shifts to the specific habitats that are likely for establishments. We evaluate this strategy...
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Beam-based analytical methods are widely used to measure the concentrations of elements and isotopes in otoliths. These methods usually require that otoliths be individually mounted and prepared to properly expose the desired growth region to the analytical beam. Most analytical instruments, such as LA-ICPMS and ion and electron microprobes, have sample holders that will accept only one to six slides or mounts at a time. We describe a method of mounting otoliths that allows for easy transfer of many otoliths to a single mount after they have been prepared. Such an approach increases the number of otoliths that can be analyzed in a single session by reducing the need open the sample chamber to exchange slides-a particularly...
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Habitat quality often varies substantially across space and time, producing a shifting mosaic of growth and mortality trade-offs across watersheds. Traditional studies of juvenile habitat use have emphasised the evolution of single optimal strategies that maximise recruitment to adulthood and eventual fitness. However, linking the distribution of individual behaviours that contribute to recruitment at the population level has been elusive, particularly for highly fecund aquatic organisms. We examined juvenile habitat use within a population of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) that spawn in a watershed consisting of two interconnected lakes and a marine lagoon. Otolith microchemical analysis revealed that the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology of Freshwater Fish
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High-latitude ecosystems are among the most vulnerable to long-term climate change, yet continuous, multidecadal indicators by which to gauge effects on biology are scarce, especially in freshwater environments. To address this issue, dendrochronology (tree-ring analysis) techniques were applied to growth-increment widths in otoliths from lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) from the Chandler Lake system, Alaska (68.23°N, 152.70°W). All otoliths were collected in 1987 and exhibited highly synchronous patterns in growth-increment width. Increments were dated, the widths were measured, and age-related growth declines were removed using standard dendrochronology techniques. The detrended time series were averaged to generate...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Polar Biology
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Microsatellite allelic and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype diversity are analyzed in eight rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) collections: two from tributaries flowing into the upper Santa Ynez River watershed at Gibraltar Reservoir (Camuesa and Gidney creeks); three from tributaries between Gibraltar and Jameson reservoirs (Fox, Blue Canyon, and Alder creeks); one from a tributary above Jameson Reservoir (Juncal Creek); Jameson Reservoir; and one from the mainstem Santa Ynez River above the Jameson Reservoir. Both analyses reveal a high degree of population structure. Thirteen microsatellite loci are amplified from 376 fish. Population pairwise comparisons show significant differences in allelic frequency...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Between 1993 and 2000, precocious yearling males of hatchery-produced fall and spring chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha composed 3.6-82.1% of chinook salmon runs to the Umatilla River, Oregon. These yearling males are smaller than typical jack salmon, which spend a full winter in the ocean, and are commonly referred to as "mini jacks." Minijack fall chinook salmon are characterized by enlarged testes and an increased gonadosomatic index. Our goal was to determine if minijacks migrated to saltwater between the time they are released from the hatchery and the time they return to the Umatilla River, a period of 4-6 months. During 1999-2000, we collected otoliths from an adult male fall chinook salmon, 12 spring...
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Turbid, glacially influenced rivers are often considered to be poor salmon spawning and rearing habitats and, consequently, little is known about salmon habitats that do occur within rivers of this type. To better understand salmon spawning habitats in the Matanuska River of southcentral Alaska, the distribution and characteristics of clearwater side-channel spawning habitats were determined and compared to spawning habitats in tributaries. More than 100 kilometers of clearwater side channels within the braided mainstem of the Matanuska River were mapped for 2006 from aerial images and ground-based surveys. In reaches selected for historical analysis, side channel locations shifted appreciably between 1949 and 2006,...
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A history of juvenile salmon research on Pacific salmon in coastal areas conducted by the United States (U.S.) was published by Brodeur et al. (2003). Presently, juvenile Pacific salmon research in the U.S. occurs in the coastal areas of all of the Pacific states: California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska (Fig. 1). Major objectives of this research are to understand how dynamics in marine ecosystems influence migration, distribution, growth, and survival of juvenile salmon during their early ocean residence. Several large-scale studies in coastal areas from California to Alaska are currently being conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS),...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Technical Report
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Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems in the world and provide important rearing environments for a variety of fish species. Though generally considered important transitional habitats for smolting salmon, little is known about the role that estuaries serve for rearing and the environmental conditions important for salmon. We illustrate how juvenile coho salmonOncorhynchus kisutch use a glacial river-fed estuary based on examination of spatial and seasonal variability in patterns of abundance, fish size, age structure, condition, and local habitat use. Fish abundance was greater in deeper channels with cooler and less variable temperatures, and these habitats were consistently occupied throughout the...
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River discharge supplies nearshore communities with a terrestrial carbon source that is often reflected in invertebrate and fish consumers. Recent studies in the Beaufort Sea have documented widespread terrestrial carbon use among invertebrates, but only limited use among nearshore fish consumers. Here, we examine the carbon source and diet of rapidly growing young-of-year Arctic cisco (Coregonus autumnalis) using stable isotope values (δ13C and δ15N) from muscle and diet analysis (stomach contents) during a critical and previously unsampled life stage. Stable isotope values (δ15N and δ13C) may differentiate between terrestrial and marine sources and integrate over longer time frames (weeks). Diet analysis provides...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Polar Biology
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Fish otolith growth increments were used as indices of annual production at nine nearshore sites within the Alaska Coastal Current (downwelling region) and California Current (upwelling region) systems (~36–60°N). Black rockfish (Sebastes melanops) and kelp greenling (Hexagrammos decagrammus) were identified as useful indicators in pelagic and benthic nearshore food webs, respectively. To examine the support for bottom-up limitations, common oceanographic indices of production [sea surface temperature (SST), upwelling, and chlorophyll-a concentration] during summer (April–September) were compared to spatial and temporal differences in fish growth using linear mixed models. The relationship between pelagic black...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Marine Biology


map background search result map search result map Terrestrial and marine trophic pathways support young-of-year growth in a nearshore Arctic fish Lake trout otolith chronologies as multidecadal indicators of high-latitude freshwater ecosystems Adaptive strategies and life history characteristics in a warming climate: salmon in the Arctic? Terrestrial and marine trophic pathways support young-of-year growth in a nearshore Arctic fish Lake trout otolith chronologies as multidecadal indicators of high-latitude freshwater ecosystems Adaptive strategies and life history characteristics in a warming climate: salmon in the Arctic?