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Exploring Linkages Between Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems to Predict Sockeye Salmon Responses to Climate Change and to Inform Enhancement Options on Kodiak Island, Alaska


Heather Finkle
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Peter WestleySchool of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Anne Beaudreau Anne BeaudreauFisheries Division
University of Alaska Fairbanks



Declining productivity of Olga lakes sockeye salmon has prompted the desire by stakeholders who rely on this resource for their livelihoods to enhance the run through lake fertilization (Rick Ellingson, KRAA board member, personal communication). However, it is difficult to assess potential sockeye salmon responses given the complex interactions among growth rate, age at seaward migration, and marine survival. Moreover, the addition of fertilizer would be acting in combination to climatic drivers on these biological processes. Our overarching aim is to understand the relationships among freshwater growth rate, size and age at smolting, and marine survival in South Olga lakes sockeye salmon and how the interplay among these factors are influenced by climatic factors and competition with conspecifics (Schindler et al. 2005b, Rich et al. 2009). The focus on climate provides insight into the natural forces shaping the life history of sockeye salmon in the system and acts as a proxy for how these fish may respond to their habitat given that climate forcing is likely to influence growth rates.