Salish Sea Marine Survival Project Publication #13

Salish Sea Marine Survival Project researchers sampled juvenile Chinook salmon diet contents and zooplankton communities in the Cowichan River estuary and Cowichan Bay. They observed that hatchery-reared smolts were larger than naturally-reared smolts; hatchery fish ate larger prey, spent less time in the estuary, and disappeared from the bay earlier. Neither hatchery- nor naturally-reared salmon were observed in the bay during periods of harmful algal blooms. Researchers hypothesize that harmful blooms and high abundance of jellyfish repel juvenile salmon, creating a timing mismatch between peak prey availability and salmon consumption demand. Read more: Chittenden et al. (2017) Estuarine and marine diets of outmigrating Chinook salmon smolts in relation to local zooplankton populations, including harmful blooms. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2017.11.021