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Young salmon rear in Skeena estuary for longer than expected

A new study used stable isotopes as clocks to estimate residence of young salmon in the estuary of the Skeena River. We discovered that some individuals of all salmon species rear for at least a week. Chinook tended to rear for the longest period of time, with some individuals rearing for months! 

This fills a major knowledge gap and differs from statements made in the environmental assessment of PNW LNG. 

This research was a collaboration among the Moore lab, Skeena Fisheries Commission, and Lax Kw'alaams Fisheries. It was published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. 



Moore, J.W., J. Gordon, C. Carr-Harris, A.S. Gottesfeld, S.M. Wilson, and J. H. Russell. 2016. Assessing estuaries as stopover habitats for juvenile Pacific salmon. Marine Ecology Progress Series. DOI: 10.3354/meps11933. (PDF)

Media coverage

Globe and Mail: "Ottawa underestimated B.C. LNG project’s risks to salmon habitat: study" - read the article here

CBC: "Pacific NorthWest LNG assessment underestimated risks to salmon, study claims" - read the article here

DeSmog: "New Research Finds Salmon Reside, Feed in Flora Bank Estuary, Site of Pacific Northwest LNG Terminal" - read the article here

National Observer: "Trudeau approved west coast gas terminal based on flimsy evidence, study says" - read the article here

Nature: "Canada's proposed natural-gas plant stirs more controversy" - read the article here

Flora Bank of the Skeena River Estuary. Photo: Jonathan Moore. Inset picture by Tavish Campell

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