Pacific Salmon: Ecology and Management of Western Alaska’s Populations

Conservation of Western Alaskan Salmon Stocks by Identifying Critical Linkages between Marine and Freshwater Life Stages and Long-term Monitoring

Jamal H. Moss, Nicola Hillgruber, Charles Lean, Jody L. Mackenzie-Grieve, Kristin E. Mull, Katherine W. Myers, and Thomas C. Stark


Abstract.—The interconnectedness of freshwater, estuarine, and marine domains, and the influence these dynamic habitats have on the health and proliferation of Arctic, Yukon, and Kuskokwim (AYK) region Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp. stocks are reviewed in this paper. Specific salmon life history and developmental stages reviewed are early freshwater residence, timing of ocean entry, early ocean residence (immature and maturing ocean stages), and mature stages. A comprehensive life-history approach that addresses hypotheses about the effects of climate forcing on matches and mismatches between salmon production, biological conditions, and the physical environment can be used to link freshwater and marine domains. We recommend that a long-term monitoring and ecosystem research program with a strong emphasis on teaching ecology, environmental biology, and salmon conservation be developed for the AYK region. Information provided by such a program would allow for an expanded understanding of the effect of climate as well as anthropogenic effects on western Alaskan salmon stocks.