Ocean migration of pop-up satellite archival tagged Atlantic salmon from the Miramichi River in Canada
AuthorStrøm, John Fredrik; Thorstad, Eva Bonsak; Chafe, Graham; Sørbye, Sigrunn Holbek; Righton, David; Rikardsen, Audun H.; Carr, Jonathan
The ocean migration of 16 post-spawned adult Atlantic salmon [Salmo salar L.] from the Miramichi River, Canada, tagged concurrently with pop-up satellite archival tags and acoustic transmitters was reconstructed using a Hidden Markov Model. Individuals exclusively utilized areas within the Gulf of St Lawrence and the Labrador Sea, and showed little overlap with known distributions of European stocks. During the migration, individuals were generally associated with surface waters and spent >67% of the time in the upper 10 m of the water column. The Atlantic salmon occupied greater depths and showed more diving activity during the day than during the night, with a few exceptions. Although residing in the Gulf of St Lawrence, individuals used different geographical areas and displayed frequent dives to shallow depths (10–30 m). All fish that entered the Labrador Sea (n = 8) migrated through the Strait of Belle Isle (767 km from the river mouth), after spending 41–60 d in the Gulf of St Lawrence. After exiting the Gulf of St Lawrence, individuals utilized different areas in the Labrador Sea, and overlaps in spatial distributions among the individuals were largely limited to the Labrador Coast. This variation in area use was accompanied by individual differences in diving behaviour, with maximum depths recorded for individuals ranging from 32 to 909 m. Dives to depths exceeding 150 m were only performed by four individuals and mainly restricted to the central Labrador Sea (areas with water depths >1000 m). Vertical movements were shallower and resembled those in the Gulf of St Lawrence when fish migrated through shallower coastal areas along the Labrador Shelf. In conclusion, the large overall variation in migration routes suggests that post-spawners from the Miramichi River encounter different habitats during their ocean migration and that the growth and survival of adults may depend on ecological conditions in multiple regions, both in the Gulf of St Lawrence and in the Labrador Sea.
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in ICES Journal of Marine Science following peer review. The version of record Strøm, J.F., Thorstad, E.B., Chafe, G., Sørbye, S.H., Righton, D., Rikardsen, A.H. & Carr, J. (2017). Ocean migration of pop-up satellite archival tagged Atlantic salmon from the Miramichi River in Canada. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 74(5), 1356-1370 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsw220.