A bioenergetic model of juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) was used to estimate daily prey consumption and growth potential of four ocean habitats in the Gulf of Alaska during 2001 and 2002. Growth potential was not significantly higher in 2002 than in 2001 at an alpha level of 0.05 (P=0.073). Average differences in growth potential across habitats were minimal (slope habitat=0.844 g d-1, shelf habitat=0.806 g d-1, offshore habitat=0.820 g d-1, and nearshore habitat=0.703 g d-1) and not significantly different (P=0.630). Consumption demand differed significantly between hatchery and wild stocks (P=0.035) when examined within year due to the interaction between hatchery verses wild origin and year. However, the overall effect of origin across years was not significant (P=0.705) due to similar total amounts of prey consumed by all juvenile pink salmon in both study years. We anticipated that years in which ocean survival was high would have had high growth potential, but this relationship did not prove to be true. Therefore, modeled growth potential may not be useful as a tool for forecasting survival of Prince William Sound hatchery pink salmon stocks. Significant differences in consumption demand and a two-fold difference in nearshore abundance during 2001 of hatchery and wild pink salmon confirmed the existence of strong and variable interannual competition and the importance of the nearshore region as being a potential competitive bottleneck.
Additional Publication Details
Bioenergetic model estimates of interannual and spatial patterns in consumption demand and growth potential of juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) in the Gulf of Alaska
Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography