• Factors affecting marine growth and survival of Auke Creek, Alaska coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

      Briscoe, Ryan Jordan (2004-05)
      Correlation analyses and stepwise regression models were run to examine relationships between Auke Creek coho salmon marine survival, scale growth, and a number of physical and biological covariates: local sea surface and air temperatures, local precipitation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, local hatchery release numbers, size at return, and regional and state salmon catch numbers. Jack survival and adult survival covaried strongly, suggesting the primary cause of mortality is encountered in the first four or five months of marine life. The number of hatchery fish had the strongest correlation with marine survival (r = 0.71), which could indicate that hatchery releases are prey for Auke Creek coho smolts or buffering these smolts from predators. Sea surface temperature was not significantly associated with adult survival, but was with jack survival. Surprisingly, scale growth was not correlated with marine survival. Adult size appears to be determined in the last year of marine life when the fish are in the Gulf of Alaska. Regional survival trends followed closely with Auke Creek marine survival, indicating factors affecting survival are regional in scope. Specific mechanisms were not defined, but the results indicate biological covariates were more associated with Auke Creek coho survival than were physical covariates.