Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8778
Title: Spatial variability of Chinook Salmon spawning site fidelity and habitat preferences
Author: J. Cram, C. E. Torgersen, R. Klett, G. R. Pess, D. May, T. N. Pearsons, Andrew H. Dittman
Publication Year: 2017
Journal: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume: 146
Issue: 2
Pages: 206-221
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00028487.2016.1254112
Keywords: salmon,spawning,habitat
Abstract:

We investigated the physical habitat conditions that were associated with spawning sites and the interannual consistency of spawning distribution across multiple spatial scales using a combination of spatially continuous and discrete sampling methods. We conducted a census of aquatic habitat in 76 km of the upper mainstem Yakima River basin (Washington, USA) and evaluated spawning site distribution using redd survey data from 2004 to 2008. Interannual reoccupation of spawning areas was high, ranging from an average Pearson’s correlation of 0.62 to 0.98 in channel sub-units and 10-km reaches, respectively. Annual variance in the interannual correlation of spawning distribution was highest in channel units and sub-units, but it was low at reach scales. In most models developed for individual years (2004 – 2008) and reach lengths (800 m, 3 km, 6 km), stream power (4 times) or depth (9 times) were the primary predictors of redd abundance. Multiple channels and overhead cover were patchy but were important secondary and tertiary predictors of reach-scale spawning site selection. Within channel units and sub-units, pool tails and thermal variability, which are both likely associated with hyporheic exchange, were important predictors of spawning. We identified spawning habitat preferences within reaches and channel units that are relevant for salmon habitat restoration planning. We also identified a threshold (i.e., 2-km reaches) beyond which interannual spawning distribution was markedly consistent. Conservation and management actions may benefit from improved understanding of spawning habitat preferences and the consistency with which Chinook Salmon reoccupy spawning areas over time.

Description:

We investigated the physical habitat conditions that were associated with spawning sites and the interannual consistency of spawning distribution across multiple spatial scales using a combination of spatially continuous and discrete sampling methods.

Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Characterize relationships between habitat and ecosystem processes, climate variation, and the viability of organisms.
Characterize relationships between habitat and ecosystem processes, climate variation, and the viability of organisms.