Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 1116
Title: Freshwater habitat associations between pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), chum (O. keta), and Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) in a watershed dominated by sockeye salmon (O. nerka) abundance
Author: G. R. Pess, T. P. Quinn, D. E. Schindler, Martin Liermann
Publication Year: 2013
Journal: Ecology of Freshwater Fish
Volume: 23
Issue: 3
Pages: 360-372
Keywords: salmon monitoring,habitat associations,community ecology

To understand the interplay between habitat use and contemporary anadromous salmon, Oncorhynchus spp., we explored the habitat associations of three Pacific salmon species, pink (O. gorbuscha), chum (O. keta), and Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) in streams of the Wood River system of Bristol Bay, Alaska, where sockeye salmon (O. nerka) are numerically dominant.  We developed models to investigate the relationships among the occurrence of non–dominant salmon, habitat characteristics, and competition with dominant sockeye, using four decades of salmon presence and abundance data, and habitat survey data.  We found that the frequency of occurrence and abundance of non–dominant species increased with watershed drainage area and stream depth and decreased with sockeye salmon density.  The range of occurrence varied from non–existent to perennial of the other species in sockeye dominated streams.  Increasing watershed area resulted in larger stream habitat area and deeper habitats, allowing for the sympatric occurrence and persistence of all salmon species.

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Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Characterize habitat effects on ecosystem processes, ecological interactions and the health of organisms.