Early marine dynamics of Skeena River sockeye salmon
Sockeye returns to the Skeena River have been declining steadily for over a decade. The diminishing returns have been attributed to poor marine survival, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Charmaine used different methods, including field sampling of juvenile sockeye and their prey, genetic analysis, and scale pattern analysis to compare the timing of outmigration and habitat utilization patterns for the different Skeena sockeye stocks with the conditions that they encounter during their initial marine phase. Her field program was based in the Skeena River estuary, the transition zone that connects upriver freshwater rearing habitats to the ocean environment. She was particularly interested in learning how salmon productivity may be affected by habitat degradation as a result of proposed industrial development in the Skeena estuary.
Current Position: Fisheries Biologist, Skeena Fisheries Commission, BC