M.Sc. Candidate, Dept. of Biology, University of New Brunswick
Hometown: Akron, Ohio, USA
Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick
10 Bailey Drive
Tel (office): (506) 447-3450
B.Sc. (Hons) in Fisheries Science, The Ohio State University, 2008
Supervisor: Dr. Richard Cunjak
Started May 2011
Winter condition and survival of Atlantic salmon parr and pre-smolts under conditions of variable stream discharge (simulating flood events)
Atlantic salmon populations in the Maritime portion of Canada have been declining. There has been a long term decrease in the number of returning adults. The declining populations have been attributed to dams, increased pollutants and commercial fishing. The decrease in salmon may also be attributed to the survival of Atlantic salmon parr.
Winter is a harsh time for Atlantic salmon parr. The decreased temperature reduces metabolism rates and slows gut evacuations. During this time the parr lose the greatest amount of lipids. The combination of low energy assimilation and environmental stress results in mortality. These stresses include parasites and nutrient deficiency. Predicted climate change scenarios and impoundments will also cause additional stress with changes in flow regimes in the river system. These changes may affect egg and parr survival with impact on juvenile recruitment. In other species, largemouth bass and yellow perch, larger fish had a higher chance for over winter survival. The larger fish are suggested to have larger fat storages. The increased stress from higher discharges could cause the par to expend more energy leading to lower survival rates.
My project aims to answer 2 questions:
1) Is there a change in the physiological condition and survival of Atlantic salmon parr after periodic high discharge events?
2) Is the probability of completing smoltification inversely related to winter severity (variable discharge)?
Amercian Fisheries Society (AFS), "Observations on the feeding habits of yellow perch before, during, and after the spawning period in the central basin of Lake Erie." 140th Annual Meeting. 2010. Pittsburg, PA.
Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) Program Research Review. Stone Laboratory. 2006, Ohio State University.