Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 58
Title: The Shiraz model: a tool for incorporating fish-habitat relationships in conservation planning
Author: M. D. Scheuerell, R. Hilborn, M. H. Ruckelshaus, K. K. Bartz, K. M. Lagueux, A. D. Haas, K. Rawson
Publication Year: 2006
Journal: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume: 63
Issue: 7
Pages: 1596-1607

 Current efforts to conserve Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) rely on a variety of information sources, including empirical observations, expert opinion, and models.  Here we outline a framework for incorporating detailed information on density-dependent population growth, habitat attributes, hatchery operations, and harvest management into conservation planning in a time–varying, spatially explicit manner.  We rely on a multistage Beverton–Holt model to describe the production of salmon from one life stage to the next.  We use information from the literature to construct relationships between the physical environment and the necessary productivity and capacity parameters for the model.  As an example of how policy makers can use the model in recovery planning, we applied the model to a threatened population of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Snohomish River basin in Puget Sound, Washington, USA.  By incorporating additional data on hatchery operations and harvest management for Snohomish River basin stocks, we show how proposed actions to improve physical habitat throughout the basin translate into projected improvements in four important population attributes: abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and life–history diversity.  We also describe how to adapt the model to a variety of other management applications. 

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