Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4632
Title: Evidence for multiple navigational sensory capabilities by Chinook salmon
Author: Brian J. Burke, James J. Anderson, Antonio M. Baptista
Publication Year: 2014
Journal: Aquatic Biology
Volume: 20
Issue: 1
Pages: 77-90
Keywords: Chinook salmon,migration,navigation,individual based models,behavior

To study the complex coastal migrations patterns exhibited by juvenile Columbia River Chinook salmon as they enter and move through the marine environment, we created an individual-based model in a coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian framework. We modeled 5 distinct migration strategies and compared the resulting spatial distributions to catch data collected during May and June in 3 years. Two strategies produced fish distributions similar to those observed in May, but only one also produced the observed June distributions. In both strategies, salmon distinguish north from south (i.e. they have a compass sense), and they control their position relative to particular landmarks, such as the river mouth. With these 2 abilities, we posit that salmon follow spatially explicit behavior rules that prevent entrapment in strong southward currents and advection offshore. Additionally, the consistent spatio-temporal distributions observed among years suggest that salmon use a clock sense to adjust their swim speed, within and among years, in response to progress along their migration.

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Theme: Recovery, Rebuilding and Sustainability of Marine and Anadromous Species
Foci: Develop methods to use physiological and biological information to predict population-level processes.