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What Works: A Workshop on Wild Atlantic Salmon Recovery Programs Jonathan Carr IBIS/AST Salmon Stocking Conference November 27/28, 2013 Marriott Hotel,

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Presentation on theme: "What Works: A Workshop on Wild Atlantic Salmon Recovery Programs Jonathan Carr IBIS/AST Salmon Stocking Conference November 27/28, 2013 Marriott Hotel,"— Presentation transcript:

1 What Works: A Workshop on Wild Atlantic Salmon Recovery Programs Jonathan Carr IBIS/AST Salmon Stocking Conference November 27/28, 2013 Marriott Hotel, Glasgow City G3 8RR Boosting salmon numbers – is stocking the answer or the problem

2 ASF Workshop Goals To examine Atlantic salmon recovery programs in Eastern North America, with examples of successes, failures and best practices To produce a report of findings to assist with assessing local restoration needs and implementing relevant and effective restoration programs

3 Workshop Program Keynotes (ecology, genetics, population dynamics) Regional Perspectives: QC, NL, NB, NS, ME, NGO Gene Banking & Life Stage Stocking Strategies History/Case Studies: Success & Failures Habitat Recovery Initiatives Dams and Fish Passage Water Quality Considerations North American Restoration Plan Discussion & Wrap Up Presentations can be found at

4 Declining & Endangered Salmon

5 Overview of Threats Freshwater Environment Global warming (floods, temperatures) Dams, culverts, Exotic species Aquaculture Agriculture, forestry, mining, aquaculture Poaching Acid rain predation Marine Environment Global warming (ecological changes, predator/prey shifts, temperatures) Aquaculture Bycatch Predation

6 Relatively Stable & Threatened/Endangered

7 What is a Salmon Recovery Program? Habitat restoration & protection Harvest regulation & addressing other sources of mortality Hatcheries & Captive Breeding Ian Fleming presentation, ASF workshop Sept Visit

8 Hatcheries & Supplementation 1773 – start in Germany belief humans should control reproduction & increase the numbers of salmon Hatchery model born of the industrial revolution – “techno” fix Interchangeable parts (in contrast with what we now know as the uniqueness of populations) Nearly a century of this vision (1860s -1960s) Salmon were moved within and outside their native range US Fish Commission proclaimed: artificial propagation would make salmon so abundant there would be no need to regulate harvest or protect habitat Ian Fleming presentation, ASF workshop Sept Visit

9 Holes in Hatchery Model appear Returns not there Becomes controversial – can it help? Recognize that a production model is not compatible with a conservation model Changing shape of restoration and questions about the role of traditional hatcheries Captive breeding – but where are we in our understanding? Ian Fleming presentation, ASF workshop Sept Visit

10 Hatcheries & Supplementation to be considered successful … Bypass high, natural mortality contributeSurvive, breed & produce offspring that contribute to natural production in the wild Ian Fleming presentation, ASF workshop Sept Visit

11 Wild Fish “On Your Own” Increased Selective Pressures High Mortality in Early Life Stages Increased Natural Adaptations Hatchery Fish “Constant Care” Decreased Selective Pressures Low Mortality in Early Life Stages Decreased Natural Adaptations K. Samways & D. MacDonald presentation, ASF workshop. Visit

12 Paradigm Shift To Convert Production Facilities to Conservation Facilities the traditional fish culturists need to switch from a goal of maximizing productivity to a goal of maximizing biodiversity. The end result would become the production of ecological viable fish better suited for natural releases and survival in the wild. K. Samways & D. MacDonald presentation, ASF workshop. Visit

13 Shane O’Neil presentation, ASF workshop Sept Visit or adults

14 Habitat complexity – Early life Shaping of the phenotype Morphology Behaviour Neural development Fitness consequences Captive - simple Nature – complex (gravel) Ian Fleming presentation, ASF workshop Sept Visit

15 Incubation Environment Shapes Phenotypic Traits Gravel-incubated fish: heavier & higher condition (wt, length, condition factor). Gravel-incubated fish: enhanced feeding & more risk adverse (fed novel prey and introduced predators: avoidance, sought shelter, reemergence). No difference in brain volume. Gravel incubated fish had higher survival and faster growth in semi-natural streams. Ian Fleming presentation, ASF workshop Sept Visit

16 Series of Experiments (1)Reproductive success of wild-exposed (FW juvenile phase) versus fully captive-reared adults. (2) Transgenerational effects - offspring fitness of wild-exposed versus fully captive reared adults Fitness returns from wild exposure? Ian Fleming presentation, ASF workshop Sept Visit

17 Fitness Summary Captive rearing environments can be altered to promote phenotypic traits that may be more favourable in nature. Ian Fleming presentation, ASF workshop Sept Visit Reproductive success (p < 0.001) Wild Exposed (76.1% ♀ & 76.9% ♂) > Captive Reared (23.9 % ♀ & 23.1% ♂).

18 P =.036 Offspring Survival (1 st summer) Wild exposure can improve short (within generation) and long term (transgenerational) fitness in captively bred populations Ian Fleming presentation, ASF workshop Sept Visit

19 Morphology, physiology, behaviour, life history… Who’s from the hatchery? K. Samways & D. MacDonald presentation, ASF workshop. Visit

20 Body/Fin Condition Summary Semi-natural ponds produce fish more similar in shape and fin quality to their natural counterparts. Substrate produces better fin qualities even at high densities. Increased habitat and flow complexity is beneficial in producing fish with a more wild-like shape. Fish reared in semi-natural ponds may be better suited for life in the wild than their conventionally reared counterparts for a number of reasons including their overall shape and fin-condition (better at foraging, recognition of complex habitat structures, predator avoidance, etc…) K. Samways & D. MacDonald presentation, ASF workshop. Visit

21 Enhancement Opportunities: Strategies in Healthy Salmon Populations Look after natural environment and let the fish to the rest If choose to stock: define objectives River specific origin Collect wild broodstock; return to river after spawning; release offspring as unfed fry and 1 st feeding fry Stock in non utilized areas or sites where wild juvenile densities are low Don’t overstock

22 Conclusions & Implications Incubation environment has impact on phenotype Affects subsequent survival and growth (fitness) Captive rearing environments can be altered to promote phenotypic traits that may be more favourable in nature

23 Conclusions: Captive Breeding Even though there is ecological & genetic risk, its potential value is large. We’ve made significant strides in our understanding of rearing strategies, but there’s still room for improvement. Temporary tool. Captive breeding alone will not be sufficient to restore populations. Need to identify the limiting factors and act.

24 Some Recommendations From ASF Salmon Recovery Workshop Focus on individual pop’ns based on specific threats. Stocking not 1st resort. Goals must be understood. Identify cause of declines & prioritize natural reproduction. Address key issues in river (habitat, passage, water quality) before/in conjunction with stocking. Think holistically: multi species/ ecosystem approach. Critical need to determine marine survival issues. Monitoring/evaluation of program is critical. Mimic nature as much as possible. Political will: not all actions are needed in rivers but in boardrooms with politicians and policy makers

25 Acknowledgements All presenters at the St. Andrews NB Salmon Recovery Workshop You can find the presentations at:

26

27 Goal was to estimate survival and achieve widespread emergence of near 10%. Egg Planting Results Site (KM)Eggs plantedTotal Fry% Emerg. Barker Valley B Sandy Orbeton Orbeton Cottle B Avon Valley Sandy Temple S Sandy Sandy Sandy Sandy Cottle Perham Perham Orbeton Orbeton South Branch Avon Valley Mt. Blue Temple avg Paul Christman presentation, ASF workshop Sept Visit


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