• A Walleye Pollock (Theragra Chalcogramma) Depletion Estimator For The Eastern Bering Sea

      Battaile, Brian Charles; Terrance J. Quinn, II; Kelly, Brendan; Sigler, Mike; Adkison, Milo (2005)
      The decline of the Steller Sea lion in the eastern Bering Sea over the last 25 years has resulted in increased management of the pollock fishery due to requirements of the Endangered Species Act, as food competition was hypothesized to contribute to the decline. Our research focused on determining if the pollock fishery was causing significant depletion in the eastern Bering Sea, particularly in Steller sea lion critical habitat. DeLury depletion models were fitted to catch and effort data from 1995 to 1999, from the observer program, which required considerable processing to obtain a database at a temporal and spatial scale that is much finer than that used for stock assessment in the eastern Bering Sea. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) data were standardized in a unique way in that the data were stratified in space and time and standardized using separate general linear models for each stratum. A significant amount of depletion was detected in the pollock fishery from 1995--1999. Depletion estimates of fishery mortality tended to be an order of magnitude smaller than those found in traditional stock assessments. Post hoc analyses indicated that depletion is detected more easily in areas of low abundance due to the hyperstable relationship between CPUE and biomass, possibly exacerbated by a lack of search time in the model. Evidence further suggested that dispersing exploitation pressure decreases local depletion, and pollock may repopulate a depleted area within weeks. Finally, a hierarchical spatial Bayesian analysis with a conditional autoregressive model was constructed to unify the analysis. Because the data were relatively clean of outliers and not over dispersed, significant changes in the results between the frequentist and Bayesian based analyses were not found as was little evidence of spatial autocorrelation in the estimates of catchability.
    • Abundance and feeding ecology of humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae) in Kodiak, Alaska

      Witteveen, Briana Harmony (2003-08)
      A feeding aggregation of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Kodiak Island region has received little previous study. A mark-recapture experiment was conducted in 2001 and 2002 to estimate its abundance. Historical abundance was back-calculated from this estimate, whaling records, and suspected survival and productivity values within a population model. The current population was estimated at 157 whales and the pre-whaling population at 343 whales. Prey consumption by humpback whales was modeled using three methods for two hypothetical diets based on prey availability surveys conducted within the study area and stomach contents of commercially caught whales. By assuming current consumption is proportional to prey availability, the current population removes an estimated 9,600 tons of prey annually. Historical populations may have removed over 19,000 tons of prey annually.
    • Abundance, Recruitment, And Environmental Forcing Of Kodiak Red King Crab

      Bechtol, William R.; Kruse, Gordon H. (2009)
      Commercial harvests of red king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus around Kodiak Island, Alaska increased rapidly in the 1960s to a peak of 42,800 mt in 1965. Stock abundance declined sharply in the late 1960s, moderated in the 1970s, and crashed in the early 1980s. The stock has not recovered despite a commercial fishery closure since 1983. To better understand the rise, collapse, and continued depleted status of the red king crab stock around Kodiak Island, I conducted a retrospective analysis with three primary objectives: (1) reconstruct spawning stock abundance and recruitment during 1960-2004; (2) explore stock-recruit relationships; and (3) examine ecological influences on crab recruitment. A population dynamics model was used to estimate abundance, recruitment, and fishing and natural mortalities. Three male and four female "stages" were estimated using catch composition data from the fishery (1960-1982) and pot (1972-1986) and trawl (1986-2004) surveys. Male abundance was estimated for 1960-2004, but limited data constrained female estimates to 1972-2004. Strong crab recruitment facilitated increased fishery capitalization during the 1960s, but the high harvest rates were not sustainable, likely due to reproductive failure associated with sex ratios skewed toward females. To examine spawner-recruitment (S-R) relationships for the Kodiak stock, I considered lags of 5-8 years between reproduction and recruitment and, due to limited female data, two currencies of male abundance as a proxy for spawners: (1) all males ?125 mm carapace length (CL); and (2) legal males (?145 mm CL). Model selection involved AICc, the Akaike Information Criterion corrected for small sample size. An autocorrelated Ricker model using all males and a 5-year lag, with the time series separated into three productivity periods corresponding to different ecological regimes, minimized AIC c values. Depensation at low stock sizes was not detected. Potential effects of selected biotic and abiotic factors on early life survival by Kodiak red king crab were examined by extending the S-R relationship. Results suggested a strong negative influence of Pacific cod Gadus macrocephalus on crab recruitment. Thus, increased cod abundance and a nearshore shift in cod distribution likely impeded crab stock rebuilding.
    • Acute exposures of salmonid embryos to total dissolved solids

      Failor-Rounds, Barbi Jean (2003-08)
      Two exposure methodologies are described here utilizing embryonic and juvenile life stages of several species of salmonids. Specific life stages of the fish were exposed to solutions of varying total dissolved solids (TDS) modeled after the measured produced water from the Red Dog Mine in Kotzebue, Alaska. Embryonic and juvenile coho salmon (0. kisutch) were exposed for 96 hours to determine acute response to TDS. Following exposure, fish were grown out to button up to assess delayed effects. Results from the 96-hour study suggest fertilization is the most sensitive developmental stage of salmon exposed to TDS. Six fish species were then used to assess a new 24-hour embryo toxicity study during fertilization. We examined short- and long-term mortality, number of unfertilized eggs, and the overall percent affected. The endpoint for the assay is the success of egg fertilization. Based on the results of these experiments, it is reasonable to conclude that the fertilization assay can be generalized across these species and may be useful in setting site-specific criteria for discharging wastes.
    • Adaptive cluster sampling of Gulf of Alaska rockfish

      Hanselman, Dana Henry (2000-08)
      National Marine Fisheries Service trawl surveys result in more variable biomass estimates for long-lived Gulf of Alaska rockfish than researchers expect. Adaptive cluster sampling (ACS) was investigated to improve these surveys. In August 1998 east of Kodiak, AK, a sampling cruise tested ACS for Pacific ocean perch (POP), and shortraker and rougheye rockfish (SR/RE). In each of six strata, simple random sampling was conducted, then ACS was performed on top stations. Stopping rules prevented sampling from continuing indefinitely. Results did not resolve whether ACS alone was better than simple random sampling. ACS, combined with stratification, increased precision of POP estimates by 30% over random sampling, suggesting that the spatial distribution has both fine-scale and habitat-scale patterns. Variograms indicated that the expected aggregation was not encountered for POP, but that POP are more aggregated than SR/RE. Some diel movement of POP was evident. Both species were concentrated at specific depths.
    • Advection And Retention Of Larval Dungeness Crab Cancer Magister In Glacier Bay And Adjacent Areas

      Park, Wongyu; Shirley, Thomas C. (2007)
      Spatial and temporal variations of larval abundance of Dungeness crabs were investigated as indications of larval advection and retention in southeastern Alaska. Larvae were collected in five transects: upper Chatham, Icy Strait, Cross Sound, and Icy Point, May to September 1997-2004 and Cape Edward in June 1998-1999. Larval densities were higher in inland water transect and lowest in offshore transects. In all transects, larval densities were highest in June. Zoeae I (ZI) were predominant with a small portion of later larval stages (ZII to ZV) in May. In May and June, late stages (ZIV and ZV) co-occurred with ZI. Later larval hatching in 1997 and 2002 and earlier larval hatching in 1998 may have been related to water temperature during the egg incubation period. Late larval stages that co-occurred with early larval stages can be transported from southern parts of their range where hatching occurs earlier. Mixing, loss, and distribution of larval Dungeness crabs were investigated inside and outside of Glacier Bay, southeastern Alaska, biweekly from late May to mid-September and monthly in Icy Strait from late May to late August in 2004. Larvae were collected from two different portions of the water column: above and below the thermocline and at four stations in Icy Strait. Larval loss was markedly high for ZI, ZIV, and ZV, and relatively low for ZII and ZIII. ZI occurred from late May to late July. Larval stages progressed seasonally from ZI to ZV and density decreased from ZI through ZV. The larval densities at the inner and outer bay stations and at the shallow and deep depths were similar. Co-occurrence of late and early larval stages and larvae with different rostrum lengths may be evidence of mixing of larvae incubated in different thermal regimes. The pattern of larval stages in Alaskan sites was markedly different from other parts of the species range: many of the early and intermediate stages occurred within inland waters, as opposed to increasing abundance of later stages with distance offshore.
    • An age structured model for assessment and management of Copper River chinook salmon

      Savereide, James W. (2001-08)
      Chinook salmon in Alaska support human uses through a variety of fisheries. Age-structured assessment models are rarely used for estimating the abundance of exploited stocks. This thesis develops a model for the Copper River chinook salmon population to show its advantages over typical assessment models. Information consists of catch-age data from three fisheries (commercial, recreational, subsistence), and two sources of auxiliary data (escapement index, spawner-recruit relationship). Four approaches utilizing different information sources are explored. Results suggest that an approach utilizing pooled catch-age data with time-varying brood-year proportions produces the best estimates, although retrospective and sensitivity analyses suggest that all four approaches explored are robust. The model should assist managers when making management decisions, because it integrates all sources of information, accounts for uncertainty, and provides estimates of optimal escapement. The model shows promise as a method for assessing and forecasting chinook salmon populations.
    • Agonistic behavior, social dominance, and predator evasion of Oncorhynchus mykiss from lake and stream parents: an evaluation of lacustrine refuges as a conservation strategy for threatened or endangered salmonids

      Ammann, Erika R. (2004-08)
      The possibility of lakes providing temporary natural refugia for endangered salmonid populations, creating an alternative to hatchery propagation, is the context for this research. To investigate this possibility resident trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) derived from a population that had been sequestered in a lake for seventy years were compared to fish from their founding anadromous steelhead trout population as well as to hybrid crosses of the two populations. Comparisons were made in the areas of aggression, dominance and predator evasion. In aggression trials the lake-derived population chased more than stream-derived O. mykiss at two life stages, age-0 and age-1. Lake-derived fry and the lake x stream hybrid fry also chased more than the stream x lake hybrid fry. Fin conditions (dorsal and pectoral fin lengths, an index of aggression) did not differ significantly. In dominance acquisition the stream x lake hybrid were least frequently dominant of all the crosstypes, and stream-derived parr were less dominant than lake-derived parr. Avoidance of a Dolly Varden predator by fry showed that the stream x lake hybrids achieved the highest survival rates. Seventy years of sequestration in a lake may be adequate time for divergence in aggressive behavior, social dominance and predator evasion between lake-resident and stream, O. mykiss populations.
    • Analysis and comparison of age-structured assessment models for two Pacific herring populations

      Hulson, Peter-John F.; Quinn, Terrance J. II; Norcross, Brenda L.; Marty, Gary D. (2007-12)
      Substantial research has been devoted to identify causes for decline the of Prince William Sound (PWS) Pacific herring in the early 1990's because of the proximity to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS). A potential source for decline has been identified with the isolation of disease in the PWS population. There have been limited investigations of PWS Pacific herring population dynamics related to other stocks in the Gulf of Alaska. The objective of this thesis was to compare observations and age-structured assessment (ASA) model results between PWS and Sitka Sound Pacific herring. Data conflicts were evaluated in the PWS ASA model and indicate that hypotheses about natural mortality in the four years subsequent to EVOS depend on the type and weighting of population indices. In Sitka, the ASA model was used to show that time-dependent natural mortality can be estimated. Comparison between PWS and Sitka indicated that age structure and recruitment have been comparable, but abundance indices and weight-at-age data have not been similar after 1993. The differences identified in this thesis between PWS and Sitka imply uniqueness in natural mortality and condition within each Pacific herring population.
    • Application of decision analysis in the evaluation of recreational fishery management problems

      Merritt, Margaret Faye; Reynolds, James B.; Criddle, Keith R. (1995)
      Fisheries management is a decision-making process, yet typically formal decision analysis techniques are not used in structuring problems, quantifying interactions, or arriving at a prioritized solution. Decision analysis tools are applied in the decision-making process for Alaska's recreational fisheries management as a means to reduce risk in management at the policy (Chapter 2) and field (Chapter 3) levels. In Chapter 2 the analytic hierarchy process is applied to the recreational fishery for chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Kenai River. Model structure is developed through an iterative interview process involving individuals asked to represent the perspectives of 15 different stakeholders. Individual stakeholder judgments are combined using a geometric mean, and maximax and maximin criteria. The sensitivity of the results to under-representation is explored through various models. Despise the contentious differences of perspective represented among stakeholders, the analytic hierarchy process identifies management options that enjoy broad support and limited opposition. In Chapter 3 decision analysis is applied to the recreational spear fishery for humpback whitefish (Coregonus pidschian) in the Chatanika River. A modified form of catch-age analysis is used to combine information derived from creel surveys and run age composition with auxiliary information in the form of mark-recapture estimates of abundance. Four systems are used in weighting annual observations: prior beliefs regarding their reliability, by the inverses of their variances, through a combination of these two weighting schemes, and equal (no) weights. The perception-weighted model generates the most reasonable estimates of abundance, which are relatively precise and associated with small bias. Forecasts of mature exploitable abundance are calculated based on various recruitment scenarios, maturity schedules, and exploitation rates. From these outcomes, the odds of stock abundance occurring below a threshold level are presented. By applying decision analysis methodologies which incorporate judgments and perceptions into decision-making affecting fisheries, sensitivity to uncertain information is made explicit, components of the problem are structured, interactions among components of the problem are quantified, and options are prioritized, thus increasing the chances of finding an optimal solution.
    • Application of molecular markers to mixed-stock analysis of Yukon River fall chum salmon

      Flannery, Blair G. (2004-05)
      Country of origin provides the basis for allocating harvests of Yukon River chum salmon. The genetic divergence among Yukon River chum salmon populations adjacent to the international border as revealed by allozyme and micro satellite variation is insufficient to determine the country of origin of returning fish using mixed-stock analysis (MSA). Consequently, we investigated the resolution provided by alternative genetic markers in an attempt to detect levels of divergence that would be sufficient for MSA. We analyzed 10 Yukon River chum salmon populations for variation at 30 variable amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) loci and for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) restriction site variation. We assessed these markers for their utility in MSA and, for mtDNA, phylogeographic analysis. The AFLP results show that MSA was most successful when mixtures were allocated to regions. The AFLP data were able to provide improved country of origin MSA estimates for the border populations with a 6.5% improvement for the Canadian populations over micro satellite analysis. No divergence in mtDNA haplotype frequency distributions was detected (P>0.05) within the Yukon River. Lack of mtDNA divergence likely resulted from a Pleistocene bottleneck that led to panmixia of the mtDNA genome.
    • Aquatic community responses to stream restoration: effects of wood and salmon analog additions

      Martin, Aaron Eugene (2007-08)
      Many aquatic ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest have been impacted by land use activities. Often these impacts have resulted in deleterious effects that directly or indirectly limited the capacity of habitat to produce fish. Habitat restoration potentially increases the quantity and quality of resources available to the aquatic communities within these impaired systems, thus increasing biotic integrity and fish production. In this study, responses of aquatic communities exposed to woody debris bundle and salmon analog additions were measured in the year following creation of off-channel, fish habitat in southcentral Alaska. Biofilm, invertebrates and juvenile coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch, were sampled in four treatment types (control, wood, analog, and analog+wood). Biofilm significantly increased in analog enriched treatments. No treatment effects were detected in benthic invertebrate responses, however, treatment differences were detected in coho diets. Coho density and standing stock were significantly higher in the wood treatment, and coho in the control treatment showed signs of density-dependent limitations. Condition for fish was highest in the analog enriched treatments after treatment additions. These results suggest salmon analog and woody debris bundle additions may be viable short-term restoration tools, providing a boost in food and shelter for aquatic communities in habitats undergoing restoration.
    • Arrowtooth flounder Atheresthes stomias diet and prey consumption near Kodiak Island, Alaska

      Knoth, Brian Anthony (2006-12)
      The arrowtooth flounder Atheresthes stomias (ATF) population in the Gulf of Alaska has increased dramatically over the past 25 years and the resulting ecosystem impacts are unclear. Arrowtooth flounder diet and prey consumption was studied to more accurately assess the predator-prey relationships of this key predator near Kodiak Island, Alaska. Temporal and ontogenetic diet trends were quantified from the analysis of 742 ATF stomachs sampled from annual bottom trawl surveys conducted in May and August from 2002 to 2004. Several significant dietary trends were found, most notably: 1) euphausiids decreased in dietary importance from May to August whereas the importance of capelin Mallotus villosus increased and 2) smaller ATF consumed more capelin and larger ATF consumed more walleye pollock Theragra chalcogramma and Pacific sand lance Ammodytes hexapterus. A bioenergetics model was used to estimate ATF prey consumption. Within the study area, the ATF population was dominated by large individuals ([great than or equal to] 50 cm total length) that accounted for> 75 % of the population's total prey biomass consumption. Arrowtooth flounder were significant predators and consumed an estimated 339 t of fish prey including Pacific sand lance and walleye pollock and 222 t of invertebrate prey such as euphausiids and shrimps.
    • Assessing juvenile sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) energy densities and their habitat quality in the Chignik watershed, Alaska

      Finkle, Heather (2004-05)
      The Chignik watershed, on the southern side of the Alaska Peninsula, supports a large salmon fishery vital to the local economy. Recent morphological changes to the watershed generated concern regarding the sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) stock that rears in Black Lake, at the head of the system. Studies of the Chignik watershed to date have not incorporated energy density data to explain the life history strategies of Chignik sockeye salmon. Re-estimated condition factor parameters improved our understanding of the length-weight relationships to fish health that isometric models described in Chignik sockeye salmon. Subsequent comparisons of age, length, weight, location, and temperature data to energy density indicated that Black Lake fish, which were all age 0 fish, were significantly affected by temperature and had energy densities greater than did fish from other areas of the watershed. Sockeye salmon captured in Chignik Lake, Chignik River, and Chignik Lagoon were only energetically different from one another based on age. Observed seasonal trends suggested juvenile sockeye salmon emigrate from Black Lake before the onset of winter due to forage and temperature limitations. A constant downstream migration occurred in the watershed during the summer, which suggested smoltification and osmoregulation processes in Chignik Lagoon fish.
    • Assessment and application of DNA metabarcoding for characterizing Arctic shorebird chick diets

      Gerik, Danielle Elizabeth; López, J. Andrés; Lanctot, Richard; Gurney, Kirsty; Wipfli, Mark (2018-12)
      Climate change in the Arctic is affecting the emergence timing of arthropods used as food by nesting shorebirds and their young. Characterizing the diets of shorebird young is a prerequisite to evaluate the potential for asynchrony to occur between the timing of arthropod emergence and when shorebird young hatch, an example of trophic mismatch. In this study, DNA metabarcoding was used to identify arthropod remains in feces collected from wild-caught Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius), Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos), and Dunlin (Calidris alpina), young in Utqiaġvik, Alaska between 2014 and 2016. Arthropod specimens were collected at the field site to generate DNA reference sequences from potential prey items. The newly generated sequences in combination with publicly available sequences served as a reference set for species determinations. I assessed the ability of two mitochondrial markers (CO1 and 16s) to detect arthropods in the feces of captive pre-fledged young in controlled feeding experiments. After combining information from both markers, experimental prey taxa were detected in chick feces 82-100% of the time, except for Trichoptera which was never detected. I used the same strategy to characterize the diets of wild-caught shorebird young. The technique detected nearly all prey families documented in historical gut content analyses, as well as 17 novel families. Some of the novel prey diversity may be the result of detecting the prey of prey, known as secondary consumption. We observed that the diets of shorebird young shifted over the course of a summer. Changes in diet generally reflected arthropod composition in the environment estimated from collection of arthropods in pitfall traps. Evidence of diet flexibility by shorebird young suggests that chicks can shift their diets to take advantage of intra-seasonal changes in prey availability. Here, I provide an evaluation and application of DNA metabarcoding to characterize prey resource use by shorebird young for assessing the presence and impacts of trophic mismatch.
    • Assessment and prediction of electroshocked-induced injury in North American fishes

      Holliman, Farland Michael (2003-05)
      Electrofishing has served as an efficient method for scientific sampling of freshwater fishes since the mid-1900s, but it has become apparent since the 1990's that electroshock can cause fish injury. Electroshock-induced fish injury (damage to hard or soft tissues), which is primarily manifested as vertebral fracture or hemorrhage (broken blood vessels) along the backbone, can be a critical determinant of fish survival. The ability to predict factors influencing fish injury rate (the proportion of. injured fish in a sample) would be very useful to biologists. To test the null hypothesis of no effect of electrical waveform (W), voltage gradient (E), and fish size (S) on injury rate, I conducted controlled electroshock experiments on chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, rainbow trout O. mykiss, channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus, largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, bluegill Lepomis macrochirus, and hybrid striped bass Morone saxatalis x M. chrysops. Data collected included electrical stimulus, fish behavioral response (R), length (L) and weight (W), and injury status (present/absent). Vertebral injury was determined using radiography, and hemorrhage by bilateral filleting. My model selection criteria, which was based on Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC), indicated that risks for both types of injury in chinook salmon and channel catfish were best represented by the (W, E, S) model, the (W, S) model for both types of injury in rainbow trout, the (W, E) model for hemorrhage and the (W, E, S) model for vertebral injury in largemouth bass, the (W) model for both injury types in hybrid striped bass, and, that risk for injury in bluegill injury was best described by the null model (no effect of W, E, S). A mechanistic model relating electrical stimulus, the force of contraction, and the resistance to contraction to electroshock-induced injury, using (R) as a surrogate for electrical stimulus, (L) as a surrogate for force of contraction, and vertebral count (V) as a surrogate of resistance to injury, was explored. Application of the mechanistic model (R, L, V) to the pooled data set demonstrated a strong predictive relationship. This model offers guidance for the reduction and prevention of electroshock-induced injury for all species in all situations.
    • Assessment of the benthic environment following offshore placer gold mining in Norton Sound, northeastern Bering Sea

      Jewett, Stephen Carl; Smith, Ronald L. (1997)
      The effects of placer gold mining on the benthic environment of Norton Sound in the northeastern Bering Sea were assessed. Research focused on red king crab Paralithodes camtschaticus, a species with commercial and subsistence importance in the Sound and seasonal occurrence in the mining area. The study addressed mining effects on: (1) benthic macroinvertebrates, many serving as food for this crab, (2) crab relative abundance, distribution, and food, and (3) heavy metal concentrations in crabs. Mining on variable substrates in $<$20 m water depths occurred between 1986-90 during ice-free months when crabs were further offshore. Sampling nearly a year subsequent to mining revealed moderate substrate alteration. Benthic community parameters and abundance of numerically predominant families (e.g., owenid, spionid, and capitellid polychaetes and echinarachniid sand dollars) were reduced in mined areas. Many reduced taxa are known crab prey. Although young individuals of opportunistic taxa predominated, taxa were generally smaller at mined areas. Multi-year surveys of a once-mined area showed continued smoothing of bottom relief. Ordination of taxon abundance from mined (1 yr after mining), recolonizing (2-7 yrs after mining), and unmined stations reflected decreasing station disturbance. At least four years were required for benthos to recover from mining. Mining had a negligible effect on crabs. Crab catches, size, sex, and most prey groups in stomachs were similar between mined and unmined areas. Concentrations of eight heavy metals in muscle and hepatopancreas tissues were generally not different in mined areas. Furthermore, these metals were not different in sediments upcurrent and downcurrent of mining. Concentrations of most metals in tissues showed no temporal trend. Elemental concentrations in muscle tissues were below or within the range of concentrations in red king crabs from other North Pacific locations. Most metals from Norton Sound crabs were well below federal guidance levels for human consumption. Effects from mining were apparent for benthic macrofauna with virtually no effects observed for king crabs. Absence of any demonstrable effects of mining on this crab is primarily a result of the high natural dynamics of the Sound and opportunistic feeding behavior and high mobility of the crab.
    • An assessment of trap efficiency to estimate coho salmon smolt abundance in a small Alaskan stream

      Eskelin, Anthony Alexander (2004-08)
      Smolt abundance is commonly estimated using trap efficiency-based methods; however, few studies have investigated the accuracy of trap efficiency estimates. The objectives of this study were to: (1) test the hypotheses that (i) trap efficiency is not affected by release timing nor release distance, (ii) trap efficiency-based estimates of smolt abundance are concordant with smolt-adult mark-recapture estimates, and (2) evaluate if water level and turbidity influence trap efficiency. In Deep Creek, Alaska, during 2001 and 2002, coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch smolt abundance was estimated using trap efficiency-based methods and compared to independent smolt-adult mark-recapture estimates. Marked smolts were released at two times of day (1200 hours and 0000 hours) and two release distances upstream of the trap (400 m and 1500 m) every 2 to 4 d throughout each year. Trap efficiency estimates were highly variable (range 0%-55%) and trap efficiency-based estimates of abundance were not concordant with smolt-adult mark-recapture estimates. Release timing and turbidity significantly influenced trap efficiency, whereas release distance did not. Several assumptions of the trap efficiency approach were not met, which produced biased estimates and conflicting results among years when comparing estimation techniques. These results suggest that assumptions of the trap efficiency-based methods be fully assessed to accurately estimate smolt abundance.
    • Bathymetric and spatial distribution of echinoderms on seamounts in the Gulf of Alaska

      Underwood, Danielle Parker (2006-12)
      The bathymetric and spatial distribution of echinoderms was examined on five seamounts in the Kodiak-Bowie seamount chain in the northern Gulf of Alaska from video transects of 200 or 500 m length, conducted at approximately 700, 1700 and 2700 m depths with the DSV Alvin in August, 2004. Temperature and salinity varied significantly with depth, but not between seamounts; an oxygen minimum zone encompassed the shallowest depth sampled. Holothuroid (Pannychia and Psolus) and asteroid density for the shallower depth category was 19.94·100 m⁻² and 2.07·100 m⁻², significantly higher than at the deeper depths. Asteroid density generally decreased northwesterly along the seamount chain. Density of three ophiuroid genera (Asteronyx, Amphigyptis, and Ophiomoeris) was 139.6·100 m⁻² on Dickens Seamount, and was significantly less on the other three seamounts to a low of 31.19·100 m⁻² on Pratt Seamount. Ophiuroid density was significantly higher at the intermediate depth (141.07·100 m⁻²), and lower at the other two depths. Density of Pentametrocrinus and Guillecrinus crinoids was not significantly affected by seamount or depth, but was highest (3.15·100 mm⁻²) at the deepest depths. No echinoids were found on transects, but were observed on three of the seamounts. Many brittle stars and asteroids were found associated with paragorgid and primnoid corals.
    • Biochemical and microbiological assessments of dried Alaska pink salmon, red salmon and Pacific cod heads

      Biceroglu, Huseyin; Smiley, Scott; Crapo, Charles; Bechtel, Peter J. (2012-05)
      Fish heads are generally considered as unsuitable byproducts for human consumption in the United States. The initial objective was to compare the moisture content and water activity levels on dried pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and dried red salmon (O. nerka) using different temperature and time integration. The secondary objective was to compare shelf life characteristics, rancidity and mold growth, between dried pink dried salmon and dried Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) heads stored for up to 180 days at the ambient temperature (21°C) for East African seafood markets. The third objective was to assess the antioxidant effects for frozen and dried pink salmon heads stored for up to 60 days. In a preliminary experiment, dried red salmon heads were found unsuitable due to the water activity levels above 0.6. The critical moisture contents were detected around 10% for pink salmon heads and were around 15% for Pacific cod heads to reduce water activity levels below 0.6 in these products. The applicable drying temperatures of 50°C lasting over 50 hours for pink salmon heads and 50°C for over 24 hours followed by 30°C for over 24 hours for Pacific cod heads were found optimal. Dried Pacific cod heads showed shelf stability as a potential dried seafood product. Frozen pink salmon heads had 60 days shelf life, while heads with antioxidant glazing retarded oxidation levels (p <0.05). The antioxidant treatment in dried pink salmon heads kept oxidation levels lower than the acceptable limit up to 60 days. This study provided essential information to improve the utilization of these Alaskan seafood byproducts.