AB 20:77-90 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00541

Evidence for multiple navigational sensory capabilities of Chinook salmon

Brian J. Burke1,2,*, James J. Anderson2, António M. Baptista3

1Fish Ecology Division, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, Washington 98112, USA
2School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA
3Center for Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction, Oregon Health & Science University, Beaverton, Oregon 97006, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: To study the complex coastal migrations patterns exhibited by juvenile Columbia River Chinook salmon as they enter and move through the marine environment, we created an individual-based model in a coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian framework. We modeled 5 distinct migration strategies and compared the resulting spatial distributions to catch data collected during May and June in 3 years. Two strategies produced fish distributions similar to those observed in May but only one also produced the observed June distributions. In both strategies, salmon distinguish north from south (i.e. they have a compass sense), and they control their position relative to particular landmarks, such as the river mouth. With these 2 abilities, we posit that salmon follow spatially explicit behavior rules that prevent entrapment in strong southward currents and advection offshore. Additionally, the consistent spatio-temporal distributions observed among years suggest that salmon use a clock sense to adjust their swim speed, within and among years, in response to progress along their migration.


KEY WORDS: Chinook salmon · Oncorhynchus tshawytscha · Migration · Navigation · Individual-based model · Behavior


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Cite this article as: Burke BJ, Anderson JJ, Baptista AM (2014) Evidence for multiple navigational sensory capabilities of Chinook salmon. Aquat Biol 20:77-90. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00541

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