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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Compass orientation in migrating Fraser River sockeye salmon Dat, Claire Germaine


Three numerical models were used to investigate whether compass orientation is an effective guidance mechanism for sockeye salmon migrating to the Fraser River from the open ocean. Daily surface ocean currents, simulated by the Ocean Surface Currents Simulations (OSCURS) model, were used in each model to test the influence of currents on the return oceanic migration of the Fraser River sockeye salmon. The high seas tagging and coastal recovery data of the Fraser River sockeye salmon were used for the migration simulations. The Fraser River sockeye salmon were shown to move in a northeastward direction during the first phase of their oceanic return migration and in a southeastward direction during the second phase of their migration. The surface daily currents were shown to increase the speed of the homeward migrating sockeye salmon. Most importantly, compass orientation alone was shown to be a possible orientation mechanism for the Fraser River sockeye salmon.

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