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200716800 - Using otolith microstructure and microchemistry to delineate growth patterns and spatial structure of Snake River Fall Chinook salmon

Sponsor: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Budgets: FY07: $459,527 | FY08: $447,564 | FY09: $460,992

Short description: The project sponsors will conduct microstructural and microchemical analyses of otoliths from Snake River Fall Chinook salmon to examine how growth patterns vary with juvenile migration timing and residence times in different habitats along their migration routes.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable

Comment:

The authors propose to use otolith microstructure and microchemistry to study growth patterns and spatial structure of Snake River fall Chinook salmon with a specific objective of gaining understanding of the reservoir-type migrants. They hope to learn when and where these migrants spend their time during downstream migration. The proposal identifies the importance of the recently detected "reservoir" life history type of Snake River fall Chinook and provides a logical reasoning to refining when and where these fish reside and migrate within the Columbia River hydrosystem. An enormous commitment has been made to understanding how flow, spill, temperature, sediment, load following, and transport affect the viability of the fall Chinook ESU, which has precarious status. This project will provide additional insight into the adaptation of fall Chinook to the modified Columbia River ecosystem. The proposal suggests using recent advances in microchemistry along with standard microscopy to evaluate where in the hydrosystem fall Chinook were residing and growing prior to ocean entry, and then estimate food consumption rates. The methods are innovative (but used elsewhere with notable success) and have a potential to provide insights into the life cycle of fall Chinook unavailable traditionally.

State/province recommendation: MS: Recommended Action

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: (n/a) | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: (n/a)

Comment: This project could help answer the question of where fall Chinook may over winter in the reservoirs if the water chemistry within each pool is adequately different.