Quantifying salmon survival from river exit to return as adult: collecting key thermal and behavioural data to refine smolt to adult survival indices (SMOLTRACK IV) (39874)

Project Details


The overarching aims of the project are to investigate thermal preferences, and feeding and migration behaviours of smolt and/or immature salmon in the marine environment, using novel deployments of current and advanced telemetry, to contribute to improved understanding of factors influencing marine survival of salmon. Increasing temperatures have been highlighted as potentially a key factor in the decline of salmon populations both at local and oceanic scale. Climate change has been flagged as a major threat to the long-term survival of the species. Yet measured data on the thermal environment experienced by migrants, initially in freshwater, and subsequently in transitional and marine/oceanic waters are limited. Establishing the temperature regime which facilitates successful smolt to adult return will contribute to determining thermal preferences in each of these habitats thereby contributing fundamental ecological data to understanding marine survival. By focusing on the smolt stage to adult river return, and the immature salmon to river return, these studies will address key data deficits namely (a) temperature preferences of salmon across its outward and return migrations and (b) detailed tracking and temperature data for immature fish as they return to natal rivers.

North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, UK (coordinator)
DTU Aqua, National Institute of Aquatic Resources (coordinator)
Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, UK
General Directorate of Natural Heritage, Xunta de Galicia, Spain
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, UK
Inland Fisheries Ireland
University of Gothenburg, Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Sweden
Natural Resources Institute Finland
University of Évora, Marine and Environmental Research Centre, Portugal

The project is funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. 

Research area: Freshwater Fisheries and Ecology
Effective start/end date01/01/202031/12/2023


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