Survival and behavior of juvenile steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in two estuaries in Oregon, USA Public Deposited

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  • Anadromous salmonids are viewed as a prized commodity and cultural symbol throughout the Pacific coast of North America. Unfortunately, several native salmonid populations are threatened or at risk of extinction. Despite this, little is known about the behavior and survival of these fish as the juveniles transition from freshwater to the ocean. Our primary objectives were to estimate survival of juvenile steelhead migrating between trapping sites and the ocean and evaluate whether survival in the estuary varies temporally (within a year) or spatially (within and between estuaries) within the same distinct population segment. We also evaluated whether flow or fork length were correlated with survival and collected information on variables that have been demonstrated to affect smolt survival in other studies to lend insight regarding differences in survival estimates between basins. We compared run timing, migration rate, survival, condition factor, age composition and time of residence in the estuary for steelhead outmigrants from each basin and measured parasite loads in outmigrating steelhead to evaluate potential differences in parasite density and parasite community between basins. In 2009, we implanted acoustic transmitters in 139 wild steelhead smolts in two small rivers on the Oregon Coast. In general, only 40-50 % of the wild steelhead smolts tagged at upstream smolt traps were detected entering the ocean. The majority of mortality occurred in the lower estuary near the ocean. Wild steelhead smolts typically spent less than 1 day in the estuary in both basins. Using similar data from previous studies in the Nehalem and Alsea basins, we showed that survival appears to be negatively correlated with flow in most releases, and in 2009 fork length was not correlated with survival. Our observations provide baseline information on factors that could influence smolt survival through the estuary as well as smolt to adult survival in these basins, and emphasize the importance of monitoring smolt survival in the estuary.
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  • Romer, J. D., Leblanc, C. A., Clements, S., Ferguson, J. A., Kent, M. L., Noakes, D., & Schreck, C. B. (2013). Survival and behavior of juvenile steelhead trout ( oncorhynchus mykiss ) in two estuaries in oregon, USA. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 96(7), 849-863. doi:10.1007/s10641-012-0080-8
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2013-07-08T16:07:10Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 RomerJeremyDFisheriesWildlifeSurvivalBehaviorJuvenile.pdf: 477759 bytes, checksum: 28b9e68f90e70f45610ead508d535610 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2012-11-13
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