Marine-entry timing and growth rates of juvenile Chum Salmon in Alaskan waters of the Chukchi and northern Bering seas
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Marine-entry timing and growth rates of juvenile Chum Salmon in Alaskan waters of the Chukchi and northern Bering seas

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  • Journal Title:
    Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
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    Climate change in the Arctic has implications for influences on juvenile Chum Salmon Oncorhynchus keta early life-history patterns, such as altered timing of marine entry and/or early marine growth. Sagittal otoliths were used to estimate marine entry dates and daily growth rates of juvenile Chum Salmon collected during surface trawl surveys in summers 2007, 2012, and 2013 in the Chukchi and northern Bering seas. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to discriminate between freshwater and marine sagittal growth on the otoliths, and daily growth increments were counted to determine marine-entry dates and growth rates to make temporal and regional comparisons of juvenile Chum Salmon characteristics. Marine-entry dates ranged from mid-June to mid-July, with all region and year combinations exhibiting similar characteristics in entry timing (i.e. larger individuals at the time of capture entered the marine environment earlier in the growing season than smaller individuals in the same region/year), as well as similar mean marine-entry dates. Juvenile Chum Salmon growth rates were on average 4.9% body weight per day in both regions in summers 2007 and 2012, and significantly higher (6.8% body weight per day) in the Chukchi Sea in 2013. These results suggest that juvenile Chum Salmon in the northern Bering and Chukchi seas currently exhibit consistent marine-entry timing and early marine growth rates, despite some differences in environmental conditions between regions and among years. This study also provides a baseline of early marine life-history characteristics of Chum Salmon for comparisons with future climate change studies in these regions.
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    Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 135, 137-144
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    Accepted Manuscript
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