A relationship between Fraser River discharge and interannual production of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) and Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) in the Strait of Georgia

Richard J. Beamish, Chrys-Ellen M. Neville, Barbara L. Thomson, Paul J. Harrison, Michael St. John

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

We identified years of anomalously high and low discharge from the Fraser River and compared these years with indices of anomalously high and low production of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) and Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi). For chinook (O. tshawytscha) and coho salmon (O. kisutch), we found that brood years that went to sea in a year when the Fraser River discharge was very high compared with the previous year virtually never had an index of production that was higher than the previous year. Similarly, brood years that went to sea in a year when the Fraser River discharge was very low compared with the previous year almost never had an index of productivity that was lower than the previous year. The analysis identified a weaker association between extreme discharge anomalies and chum salmon (O. keta) production. A close association was not found between extreme discharge anomalies and pink salmon (O. gorbuscha), sockeye salmon (O. nerka), or herring production. The relationships identify a connection between annual fluctuations in river flow and production of some marine fishes and may be of use in forecasting abundance changes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume51
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2843-2855
ISSN0706-652X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

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