How do intermittent off-channel habitats influence the productivity of juvenile coho salmon in the North Thompson watershed?
Most juvenile coho salmon spend one year in freshwater before migrating to the ocean. Within this year, juveniles may use various types of habitats such as their natal stream and intermittent off-channel habitat that are seasonally connected during high flows. Little is known about the habitat use of inland river systems by juvenile coho salmon and the influences of these habitats on their productivity. Furthermore, annual flood intensity during the spring freshet can affect the availability of these habitats within and among years.
My research aims to understand how intermittent off-channel habitat affects juvenile coho salmon productivity in the North Thompson watershed. I am interested in 3 research questions:
1) When do juvenile coho salmon use them?
2) How productive are off-channel habitats for juvenile coho salmon?
3) How much off-channel habitat is available in the North Thompson?
Exploring these questions will help better understand the use and connections among juvenile coho salmon habitats in a large watershed.
Brittany is Advised by Doug Braun (DFO Research Biologist and member of the Cooperative Resource Management Institute at SFU) and Co-Advised by Jonathan Moore.
Email: brittany_milner [at] sfu.ca