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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Simulation of coho smolt predation on pink and chum fry: the importance of relative size and growth rate Belford, Darlene Lillian


A deterministic simulation model is used to explore the relationship between juvenile pink, chum and coho salmon growth and size-related survival in the Fraser River estuary. Parameters most sensitive to change are identified and the results related to proposals for enhancement. These results suggest that increasing the initial size of enhancement pink and chum fry, relative to the size of wild fry, prior to seaward migration and releasing them early in the spring may increase their chances of survival. If increasing total (enhancement plus wild) fry density decreases fry growth rate, the presence of enhancement fry in the estuary could reduce the survival chances of wild fry. The decrease in wild stock survival may not be apparent from estimates of adult return for many years due to errors in measurement and to the effect on survival of environmental variability. The model can be used to suggest and evaluate enhancement proposals. Areas needing further research are also indicated.

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