Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4175
Title: Stock-specific movement and distribution of juvenile Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, in sandy beach surf zones of Oregon and Washington, USA
Author: Jose R. Marin Jarrin, David J. Teel, Jessica A. Miller
Publication Year: 2015
Journal: Estuaries and Coasts
DOI: 10.1007/s12237-015-0037-1
Keywords: juvenile Chinook salmon,sandy beach surf zones,distribution,densities,habitat use,sandy beach surf zones,juvenile Chinook salmon,genetic stock,movement,habitat use

Sandy beach surf zones serve as alternative nursery habitats for juvenile Chinook salmon (0-age) during their early marine residency, a period considered critical due to high and variable mortality rates. Despite the importance of early marine residence, the extent of juvenile salmon surf zone use and movement along sandy beaches is not well understood. To study juvenile Chinook salmon distribution and movement in shallow surf zone habitats, eleven beaches adjacent and distant to four estuary mouths in Oregon and Washington, USA, were sampled from 2006 – 2010 using a beach seine. The estuary of origin of each juvenile was determined using genetic stock identification methods and coded wire tags. Surf zones sampled were within littoral cells, which are stretches of the coastline bordered by rocky headlands, and include estuaries with and without Chinook salmon populations. Juvenile salmonids were only collected at littoral cells with Chinook-inhabited watersheds. Most juveniles (95 %) were present at sandy beaches adjacent (<500 m) to their estuary of origin. Few Chinook salmon (5%) were collected at littoral cells that contained non-natal estuaries. These results indicate that juvenile Chinook salmon inhabiting surf zones mostly use beaches adjacent to their estuaries of origin, but some juveniles may reside in beaches distant from their point of ocean entry.

Theme: Recovery and rebuilding of marine and coastal species
Foci: Characterize the population biology of species, and develop and improve methods for predicting the status of populations.