Hood Canal Nearshore Juvenile Fish Use Assessment - Pilot Study
Throughout Hood Canal
Assessment – December 2012
Marine nearshore habitats of Hood Canal serve as critical rearing and migration corridor habitats for juvenile salmon. However, information regarding temporal and spatial usage patterns by various species within Hood Canal is incomplete. A comprehensive understanding of fish-habitat associations and seasonal abundance is necessary to prioritize conservation and habitat restoration actions to benefit salmon and other marine fishes. To address these information needs, Wild Fish Conservancy will conduct an assessment of nearshore habitat use by juvenile fishes, with emphasis on salmon including ESA listed Hood Canal summer chum and Puget Sound Chinook salmon. Our approach will involve both collection of new data as well as collaboration and data sharing with other groups that have conducted research on nearshore fish assemblages. Our field work will use beach seines and fyke nets to capture fish for enumeration and collection of biological data during the salmon outmigration season from February-September, 2012. Habitat data collected at the time of seining, as well as habitat data obtained from remote sensing and previous studies, will be used to construct statistical models which describe how salmon and other fishes use nearshore areas in Hood Canal. The results of this research will allow for the quantitative prioritization of salmon habitat restoration and protection efforts in Hood Canal. Although the project is currently only funded through 2012, it is hoped that sampling efforts can be expanded in future years in order to account for temporal variability.
Primary Habitats Impacted By Project:
Nearshore areas of Hood Canal – rearing and migration corridor for ESA-listed chum salmon, steelhead, and Chinook salmon as well as pink salmon, coho salmon, cutthroat trout, and numerous marine species.
Thomas Buehrens, M.S., Research Fishery Biologist
Budget or Project Cost:
Salmon Recovery Funding Board
Will be updated when finalized