Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4641
Title: Partial migration and diel movement patterns in Puget Sound coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
Author: Jessica Rhode, Anna N. Kagley, Kurt L. Fresh, Fred Goetz, T. P. Quinn
Publication Year: 2013
Journal: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume: 142
Issue: 6
Pages: 1615-1628
Keywords: Coho salmon, partial migration, Puget Sound,

Partial migration, a term referring to populations in which only a fraction of the individuals
migrate, is a widespread phenomenon among fishes. However, it is not always clear whether
there are only two alternatives (migration or not) or a continuum of movement patterns. For
example, coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch, are anadromous and most individuals rear over
the continental shelf or offshore waters of the North Pacific Ocean but some, known as residents,
spend all or part of their marine lives within Puget Sound. The movements of residents are
poorly documented and it is unclear whether they ever move to the coast, and to what extent they
move within Puget Sound. We tagged 45 resident coho salmon in the central basin of Puget
Sound with acoustic telemetry transmitters and tracked their movements within Puget Sound, the
Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the San Juan Islands. Seven individuals were detected departing
Puget Sound through the Strait of Juan de Fuca but these fish were not distinguished from those
remaining in Puget Sound by body size, wild or hatchery origin, or tagging date. The fish
remaining as residents seldom moved between basins; nine individuals moved from the central
basin to Whidbey basin, one to Hood Canal, one to south Puget Sound, and one to the San Juan
Islands. Within the central basin, neither the water depth at the receiver’s site nor distance from
shore affected the frequency of detections or any other index of site use. However, fish were
more often present and moved more often at shallow sites close to shore at night, and more at
deep, offshore sites during day. Rather than a discrete behavior, we suggest that the variation of
movements in Puget Sound resident coho salmon indicated that residence is part of a continuum
of migratory behavior patterns.
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Notes: 10.1080/00028487.2013.822421
Theme: Recovery, Rebuilding and Sustainability of Marine and Anadromous Species
Foci: Describe the relationship among human activities and species stock status, recovery, rebuilding and sustainability.
Develop methods to use physiological and biological information to predict population-level processes.