Growth of juvenile coho salmon oncorhynchus kisutch off oregon and washington usa in years of differing coastal upwelling
Fisher, J.P.; Pearcy, W.G.
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 45(6): 1036-1044
Estimated growth rates, condition, and stomach fullness of juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) caught in the ocean in early summer, when mortality was most variable, were high in 1983 and 1984, years of very low survival and low early upwelling, as 1981, 1982, and 1985, years of higher survival and higher early upwelling. Chronic food shortage leading to starvation, poor condition, or slow growth apparently was not the cause of the increased mortality of juvenile coho salmon in 1983 and 1984. Survival of juvenile coho salmon was postively correlated with purse seine catches of fish in June and with early summer upwelling, 1981-85. Hence, year-class success probably was determined early in the summer, soon after most juvenile coho salmon entered the ocean. Spacing of the first five ocean circuli, which was positively correlated with growth rate, was not significantly different for fish caught early in the summer and those caught late in the summer, suggesting that growth rate selective mortality in the ocean was not strong. The increase in mortality in 1983 and 1984 may have been caused by increased predation on juvenile coho salmon due to decreased number of alternative prey for predators.