Adult salmon that are released after being captured are stressed and injured. Injured fish are an easy target for bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that can kill fish before they spawn, especially in warm water. Our research examines how gillnet entanglement duration and water temperature affect disease development and survival.
Scott Hinch was awarded a NSERC Strategic grant totaling $590,000 for research into the effects of injury , pathogens, and climate warming on migration and spawning success of Pacific salmon that have escaped from fishing gear. Partner organizations include the Canadian Dept. Fisheries and Oceans, Pacific Salmon Commission, and Pacific Salmon Foundation.
Using tags surgically implanted into thousands of juvenile salmon, UBC researchers have discovered that many fish die within the first few days of migration from their birthplace to the ocean.
The Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation (PSEC) laboratory is housed in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences. Members of the lab are committed to the study of salmonid ecology, behaviour and physiology, and to providing management systems with information needed for the conservation and sustainable use of fish resources.
A particularly important and sensitive period for salmon is the smolt life stage – when, after time spent in freshwater nursery areas, they transform themselves for life in saltwater and make the long migration to the sea. Very little is known about this life stage, and past research has mostly been limited to laboratory studies or snapshots of smolt distributions at sea. Advances in technology have allowed researchers to begin to better understand the factors that affect the migration of salmon smolts.