Researching Salmon: Understanding habitat to support Chinook recovery
The Howe Sound Juvenile Chinook Out-migration Study (2011-2016)
The Juvenile Chinook Out-migration Study was a part of the Squamish Salmon Recovery Plan and has been led by the SRWS, in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
This study seeks to "better understand the spatial and temporal distribution of juvenile Chinook in Howe Sound and the Squamish Estuary to identify key habitats or community assemblages preferred by these fish" (Kendra Morgan). The study commenced in the spring of 2011 to study how juvenile Chinook are moving through Howe Sound. This was expanded upon in 2012 to include a total of 28 sample sites throughout Howe Sound.
Based on the studies interim results, it appears that juvenile Chinook prefer the northern and southern ends of the Howe Sound. DNA samples were take to determine if these juveniles have emerged from the Squamish River system, or if juvenile Chinook from other coastal river systems are using the Howe Sound as protected habitat before heading to sea. The stock identification analysis found lineages of Chinook from the Big Qualicum River and the Cheakamus River whom spawn and rear in the Squamish watershed.
From 2013 to 2016, the study concentrated on the Squamish Estuary in an attempt to better understand how juvenile Chinook are making use of the estuary tidal channels,
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