Tradeoffs between homing and habitat quality for spawning site selection by hatchery-origin Chinook salmon

Environmental Biology of Fishes
By: , and 



Spawning site selection by female salmon is based on complex and poorly understood tradeoffs between the homing instinct and the availability of appropriate habitat for successful reproduction. Previous studies have shown that hatchery-origin Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) released from different acclimation sites return with varying degrees of fidelity to these areas. To investigate the possibility that homing fidelity is associated with aquatic habitat conditions, we quantified physical habitat throughout 165 km in the upper Yakima River basin (Washington, USA) and mapped redd and carcass locations from 2004 to 2008. Principal components analysis identified differences in substrate, cover, stream width, and gradient among reaches surrounding acclimation sites, and canonical correspondence analysis revealed that these differences in habitat characteristics were associated with spatial patterns of spawning (p < 0.01). These analyses indicated that female salmon may forego spawning near their acclimation area if the surrounding habitat is unsuitable. Evaluating the spatial context of acclimation areas in relation to surrounding habitat may provide essential information for effectively managing supplementation programs and prioritizing restoration actions.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Tradeoffs between homing and habitat quality for spawning site selection by hatchery-origin Chinook salmon
Series title Environmental Biology of Fishes
DOI 10.1007/s10641-012-0026-1
Volume 96
Issue 1
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Springer
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 14 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Biology of Fishes
First page 109
Last page 122
Country United States
State Washington
Other Geospatial Yakima River
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