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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 682:207-220 (2022)  -  DOI:

Acoustic characterization of juvenile Pacific salmon distributions along an eco-engineered seawall

Kerry L. Accola*, John K. Horne, Jeffery R. Cordell, Jason D. Toft

School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, 1122 NE Boat Street, Seattle, Washington 98015, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: A mobile dual-frequency identification sonar (DIDSON) was used to characterize juvenile Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) daytime use of armored and eco-engineered seawall habitats along an urbanized shoreline in Puget Sound, Washington, USA. Eco-engineering included intertidal benches to elevate the seafloor, a textured seawall to provide refuge and encourage invertebrate colonization, and glass blocks in an overhanging sidewalk to increase ambient light. A DIDSON multibeam sonar gave salmon counts twice that of visual surveys, and was thus deemed effective as a mobile sampling tool for small fish (~40-90 mm) and can be advantageous relative to visual methods depending on research goals, habitats, and ambient light levels. Increased salmon presence in the eco-engineered intertidal corridor relative to traditional seawall and pier habitats showed that the combination of increased light, reduced infrastructure (e.g. pier pilings), increased texture, and a shallower seafloor improves habitat function for juvenile salmon. High densities of juvenile salmon along pier ends show that salmon also use alternative migration pathways, with unknown energetic costs and predations risks.

KEY WORDS: Acoustic · Juvenile salmon · Eco-engineering · Pier · Seawall · Shoreline armoring · Dual-frequency identification sonar · DIDSON

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Cite this article as: Accola KL, Horne JK, Cordell JR, Toft JD (2022) Acoustic characterization of juvenile Pacific salmon distributions along an eco-engineered seawall. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 682:207-220.

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