Here's what's new at PSF

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by Pacific Salmon Foundation, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

  2. Since the 1970's, seals around the Strait of Georgia have increased from 5,000 to about 40,000, while salmon have steadily declined. Although there has been much finger pointing, the actual predation of seals on salmon has never been proven...until now. Here's how our donors and partners for the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project have helped develop new innovations for testing exactly how many salmon seals are eating. Join this landmark effort by making a tax-receiptable donation today and it will be matched! AND for every $100 donated you will receive one entry to win a TR3 reel and rod donated by Islander Precision Reels! Donate now:

  3. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member

    Nice, but one could have read the report done by DFO on the Puntledge and come to the same conclusion

    DFO in Vancouver did not want to deal with the facts and swept the facts under the rug.

    Now we start again and we will see if they have the balls to do anything.

    Mabey Killer Whales will allow them to kill seals.
  4. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Have to attach a beanie to them, too... :)
  5. A whale beanie :p Awesome.
  6. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

  7. Here's some more salmon science to get your weekend started. Yayyyy, whoooh!

    As you know, salmon farms and salmon disease are a contentious topic in BC because we are passionate about our wild salmon. In the scientific community, there is also a strong belief that disease may be a significant factor in salmon mortality, but not enough is known about what disease agents might affect salmon in their natural habitats. Here's how donors for the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project are bringing some clarity. You can join this landmark effort by making a tax-receiptable donation online. All donations made by December 31st, 2017 will be matched! Donate now:

  8. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    So I have been looking thru the PSF website trying to find research conducted on fresh water stream ecology or food webs. Some of the PSF videos on this site explain a "bottom up" approach to research but I can only find studies like seal predation, diseases and migration studies. These are more of a "top down" approach from how I see it? If salmon start their lives in fresh water then researching from the bottom up would start there would it not?
    If anyone at PSF or whoever can direct me to any research that centers on supporting food webs in fresh water, where salmon life begins, I would appreciate it.
    I mean no disrespect in this post but am sincere in my inquiry.
  9. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    The Salish Sea Project is focused on saltwater here are the bottom up studies.

    Our Current Bottom-Up Activities
    Population-specific consumption of Pacific herring by juvenile and sub-adult Chinook salmon in Puget Sound
    Quantifying juvenile salmon prey quality and feeding
    Reconstructing productivity patterns using geoduck shells
    Life history diversity and marine growth of Puget Sound Chinook using otolith microchemistry and scale morphometrics
    Physical characteristics and primary production: Upgrading and utilizing the ORCA buoy network and NANOOS
    Zooplankton: a Puget Sound-wide sampling program
    Juvenile salmon: Diagnosing critical growth periods
    Additional Bottom-up Projects
    Nearshore Habitat Studies
    Moorings, Remote Sensing, and Ferry Sampling
    Citizen Science Program
    Oceanographic Studies
    Juvenile Salmon Studies
  10. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Lots of good work and very interesting material in those studies. Something missing is the study of a salmons lifecycle from the beginning, in fresh water. So if you were to examine salmon ecology from the bottom up this is where you should start, should you not?? The report on acidification in the Salish sea is excellent. It would be helpful if such testing was done in fresh water where fish reproduce. There has been studies indicating adult to smolt ratios have been as low as 1 to 1 recently in some waterways. Along with low survival rates on salmon there has been changes in algae species, decomposition rates and vanishing invertebrate populations all in fresh water. If this doesn't deserve research then wtf. Conducting research targeting on the marine environment is not starting at the bottom its more like stepping in part way thru the juvenile phase.
  11. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    I believe they are focused on the marine environment because that where they believe most of the losses happen. They can capture and count the out going smolts in streams and rivers. Thoes migrating out numbers have been fairly consistent over time so they have determined that the problem is ocean survival.

    Here is one instance where they found the freshwater survival to be low

    IE "The level of freshwater mortality is being determined by operating a Rotary Screw Trap (RST) in the mainstem of the Lower Cowichan River and conducting a mark-capture population estimate on hatchery released fish. If it is concluded that hatchery smolts released a significant distance upstream from the estuary experience high losses prior to saltwater entry, a follow-up study could be implemented to determine if lower river hatchery releases improve overall and river return survival."

    1) Large losses were sustained by downstream migrating wild and hatchery Chinook smolts in 2016. Survival to the marine environment for the late hatchery release group was estimated at 12% (23,250 of 193,748).

    2) RST work suggests this trend is observed in most/all years where hatchery Chinook survival was investigated.

    3) There is mounting evidence that predation accounts for the majority of losses based on abnormal tag behavior on multiple arrays as well as photographic evidence of animals interacting with detection fields.

    4) A large portion of the marine survival estimate for hatchery fish released in the upper river can be attributed to freshwater losses in most or all years. They estimate that only 10-15% of the late hatchery release group (CWT indicator stock) made to the marine environment in 2016 assuming the rate of loss observed over the first 40 km continued through the last 7 km.

    5) The hypothesis that larger smolts have a higher survival rate in freshwater is not supported by tag detections in the lower river."
    tincan likes this.
  12. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Was that really necessary? I am happy tho that your super passionate about this topic and extremely knowledgeable.


    You also might want to look up the Theory of Depensation and also the Allee effect as that might be also what you are observing in the wild.

    Here is some stuff that is in progress for Fresh water

    Ongoing limnological and paleolimnological research has demonstrated Cultus Lake is undergoing cultural eutrophication, the enrichment of nitrogen and phosphorus from watershed sources. Resultant changes in water quality and biological productivity are impacting critical habitat for species at risk (Cultus sockeye salmon; Cultus pygmy sculpin). This project, supported in part by FSWP in Year 1, aims to critically assess the magnitude and sources of watershed nutrient loading to Cultus Lake via surface flows and groundwater. Only with this information can appropriate mitigation be applied for the protection of this sensitive salmonbearing watershed.

    As this research is scheduled to occur over a two-year window, only preliminary results are available at this time. With the assistance of FSWP, we have begun to characterize intra-annual spatial and temporal patterns in surface hydrology and nutrient loadings that will underpin our nutrient flux model. To date, our research has identified unexpected nutrient hot-spots within the watershed, including tributaries originating from"

    Also you can look through all their projects here:
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  13. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Neither of these are the effects I am seeing. How does either of those correlate with changes in algae species, loss of biodiversity in invertes and decomposition changes in fresh water??

    As for the Cowichan juvenile migration. Has there been any in stream stomach sampling during migration? I'm curious if undernourished salmon get picked off by predators when they run out of juice or would they sink to the bottom? In regards to wild salmon what is the adult - smolt ratio from year to year before the migration study? That would be some great bottom up information.

    What I have been seeing is symptoms of chemistry shock or poor water quality. Something PSF doesn't seem to be very interested in. It's nothing new. DFO and MOE don't seem much interested either. My local river, the Stamp, has gone dead! Supporting ecology for salmon species has long vacated just like in the Gold river and Thompson. Consequently so has gone the wild fish productivity. Now all the science is being done in the marine environment?? Why not start at the beginning of salmon life?
  14. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Here is something I found for the Nass perhaps is closer to what you are looking for. If not perhaps you can email the PSF or send them a nice letter asking them with a phat donation inclosed and they might have more on the subject.
  15. tincan

    tincan Well-Known Member

    short answer: Because for the past several decades that is where the vast majority of science has been taking place and we (scientists) have not seen a significant drop in juvenile salmon entering salt water. With new technology we are finding that, at least in the Strait of Georgia, the vast majority of juvenile mortality is occurring in the marine environment. It make sense to spend more effort studying the timing/locations where salmon are actually dying so that we can then figure out ways to mitigate this. It could well be that their freshwater experience (lakes, rivers, etc) are a factor in their saltwater demise and this is all being considered in the SSMSP.

    Put it this way:
    • Each year there's a marathon and 10,000 runners are at the start line
    • For the past 3 decades only 100 runners have been making it to the finish line, while the remaining 9,900 have gone missing.
    • For decades we've only been able to track the heath / status of runners for the first mile of the race as that's all technology could afford us. What happens after mile 1 and through mile 26 has been a mystery.
    • Finally, new technology is showing us that over the past few years 5,000 runners per year have been dropping dead between mile 1.5 and mile 2 each year
    Wouldn't it make sense to focus our science on this unique and short time frame where mortality is so high? Given the limited resources available I think this is the best route to take.
  16. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    How many adult salmon did it take to get 10000 runners? Is that the same every year? If 5000 don't make it two miles every year would it not be worth investigating the streams for supporting ecology and stable chemistry?
  17. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Not sure if you guys know but there is thousands of hatchery salmon spawning in the Stamp river every year. When spawners are sampled for origin there is approximately 10% average natural return spawners and the rest are of hatchery origin. How could there be such a lack of natural return fish? So the natural spawnner to spawnner is not functioning anything like the hatchery spawnner to spawnner. How come the inferior hatchery fish have such a high adult to adult survival where as the wild population is lacking? They all go to the same ocean. Without annual recruitment from stray hatchery fish there wouldn't be much if any spawning here at all. So if someone wanted to research why there is such poor natural reproduction success it would take research in this area. Studies on out migrating smolts and oceanic conditions does nothing to address the broken fresh water reproductive abilities ie. adult to smolt survival.
  18. cuttlefish

    cuttlefish Well-Known Member

    I do believe there have been decades of research into lake and stream fertilization as exemplified in this article about the Keogh River steelhead and river trout experiment;
    A rather stale dated example but, at the time, it was considered "the silver bullet".
    I remember bringing this example to DFO when I was involved in some enhancement/hatchery volunteering back in those days. They (DFO) were not fond of the concept at the time. At least not in assisting or allowing us to fertilize any of the streams we worked on.
    Seeing how it has been a couple decades since then and the concept has not gained wider application, I assume there were some subsequent issues that precuded further adoption. That might be a good question for PSF: What happened to artificial stream and lake fertilization?
  19. cuttlefish

    cuttlefish Well-Known Member

  20. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Thanks cuttlefish for that write up. I think manipulating the stream chemistry is the future of enhancement. would be nice to see it practiced more. If there was complete monitoring of chemistry and ecology in a stream and the waters were corrected from any unfavorable chemistry issues we could eliminate hatcheries! One pool in the Stamp river has far more rearing space than the whole hatchery compound. Unfortunately there is no natural food in the stream so very few salmon or steelhead live.

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