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Floodplain rearing of juvenile chinook salmon: evidence of enhanced growth and survival

Publication: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
February 2001

Abstract

In this study, we provide evidence that the Yolo Bypass, the primary floodplain of the lower Sacramento River (California, U.S.A.), provides better rearing and migration habitat for juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) than adjacent river channels. During 1998 and 1999, salmon increased in size substantially faster in the seasonally inundated agricultural floodplain than in the river, suggesting better growth rates. Similarly, coded-wire-tagged juveniles released in the floodplain were significantly larger at recapture and had higher apparent growth rates than those concurrently released in the river. Improved growth rates in the floodplain were in part a result of significantly higher prey consumption, reflecting greater availability of drift invertebrates. Bioenergetic modeling suggested that feeding success was greater in the floodplain than in the river, despite increased metabolic costs of rearing in the significantly warmer floodplain. Survival indices for coded-wire-tagged groups were somewhat higher for those released in the floodplain than for those released in the river, but the differences were not statistically significant. Growth, survival, feeding success, and prey availability were higher in 1998 than in 1999, a year in which flow was more moderate, indicating that hydrology affects the quality of floodplain rearing habitat. These findings support the predictions of the flood pulse concept and provide new insight into the importance of the floodplain for salmon.

Résumé

Notre étude démontre que le canal de dérivation Yolo, la principale plaine d'inondation de la région aval de la rivière Sacramento (Californie, É.-U.), offre de meilleurs habitats pour l'alevinage et la migration des jeunes Saumons Quinnat (Onchorhynchus tshawytscha) que les bras adjacents de la rivière. En 1998 et 1999, la taille des saumons a augmenté plus rapidement dans la plaine d'inondation agricole, sujette aux débordements saisonniers de crue, que dans la rivière, ce qui laisse croire à de meilleurs taux de croissance. De plus, des jeunes saumons marqués à l'aide de fils de métal codés et relâchés dans la plaine d'inondation étaient plus gros au moment de leur recapture et avaient des taux de croissance apparente plus élevés que des poissons relâchés dans la rivière en même temps. L'amélioration des taux de croissance dans la plaine de débordement résultait en partie d'une consommation significativement plus importante de proies, le reflet d'une plus grande disponibilité des invertébrés de la dérive. Un modèle bioénergétique laisse croire que le succès de l'alimentation a été meilleur dans la plaine d'inondation que dans la rivière, en dépit du coût métabolique d'alevinage significativement plus grand dans les eaux plus chaudes de la plaine d'inondation. Les indices de survie des poissons marqués et relâchés dans la plaine d'inondation étaient quelque peu plus élevés que ceux des poissons de la rivière, mais les différences n'étaient pas statistiquement significatives. La croissance, la survie, le succès de l'alimentation et la disponibilité des proies étaient tous supérieurs en 1998 par comparaison avec 1999, une année à débit plus modéré, ce qui indique que l'hydrologie affecte la qualité des habitats d'alevinage dans la plaine d'inondation. Nos résultats appuient les prédictions du concept de pulsion de crue (flood pulse concept) et mettent en lumière l'importance de la plaine d'inondation pour le saumon.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

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cover image Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume 58Number 2February 2001
Pages: 325 - 333

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Version of record online: 12 April 2011

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154. Does flooding affect spatiotemporal variation of fish assemblages in temperate floodplain wetlands?
155. POPULATION DEMOGRAPHICS OF CATOSTOMIDS IN LARGE RIVER ECOSYSTEMS: EFFECTS OF DISCHARGE AND TEMPERATURE ON RECRUITMENT DYNAMICS AND GROWTH
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157. POST‐DAMMING FLOW REGIME DEVELOPMENT IN A LARGE LOWLAND RIVER (VOLGA, RUSSIAN FEDERATION): IMPLICATIONS FOR FLOODPLAIN INUNDATION AND FISHERIES
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167. Pyrethroid insecticides in urban salmon streams of the Pacific Northwest
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175. Growth and Methylmercury Accumulation in Juvenile Chinook Salmon in the Sacramento River and Its Floodplain, the Yolo Bypass
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178. Fish Use of Intermittent Watercourses Draining Agricultural Lands in the Upper Willamette River Valley, Oregon
179. Global climate change and potential effects on Pacific salmonids in freshwater ecosystems of southeast Alaska
180. Juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) growth in off-channel and main-channel habitats on the Sacramento River, CA using otolith increment widths
181. Behavioural thermoregulation by subyearling fall (autumn) Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in a reservoir
182. Movement into floodplain habitats by gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) revealed by dietary and stable isotope analyses
183. Floodplain development in an engineered setting
184. Physical and ecological response to disturbance by gravel mining in a large alluvial river
185. Dietary Segregation of Pelagic and Littoral Fish Assemblages in a Highly Modified Tidal Freshwater Estuary
186. Genetic Stock Composition of Subyearling Chinook Salmon in Seasonal Floodplain Wetlands of the Lower Willamette River, Oregon
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197. Living in a Dynamic Environment: Variability in Life History Traits of Age‐0 Splittail in Tributaries of San Francisco Bay
198. Use of seasonal freshwater wetlands by fishes in a temperate river floodplain
199. Outmigration of Juvenile Chinook Salmon in the Lower Willamette River, Oregon
200. Predicting River Floodplain and Lateral Channel Migration for Salmon Habitat Conservation 1
201. Littoral fish assemblages of the alien-dominated Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, 1980–1983 and 2001–2003
202. Water quality changes in hyporheic flow paths between a large gravel bed river and off-channel alcoves in Oregon, USA
203. Managing floodplain inundation for native fish: production dynamics of age-0 splittail (Pogonichthys macrolepidotus) in California’s Yolo Bypass
204. Regional patterns of riparian characteristics in the interior Columbia River basin, Northwestern USA: applications for restoration planning
205. Wildlife and Fish Conservation Through the Farm Bill
206. Diet and Bioenergetics of Lake‐Rearing Juvenile Chinook Salmon in Lake Washington
207. The influence of flood cycle and fish predation on invertebrate production on a restored California floodplain
208. Importance of Flood Dynamics versus Intrinsic Physical Habitat in Structuring Fish Communities: Evidence from Two Adjacent Engineered Floodplains on the Sacramento River, California
209. Variables Influencing the Presence of Subyearling Fall Chinook Salmon in Shoreline Habitats of the Hanford Reach, Columbia River
210. Juvenile Salmonid Use of Freshwater Emergent Wetlands in the Floodplain and Its Implications for Conservation Management
211. Ecological Values of Shallow-Water Habitats: Implications for the Restoration of Disturbed Ecosystems
212. Habitat Use and Stranding Risk of Juvenile Chinook Salmon on a Seasonal Floodplain
213. Detritus fuels ecosystem metabolism but not metazoan food webs in San Francisco estuary's freshwater delta
214. Effects of gravel augmentation on macroinvertebrate assemblages in a regulated California River
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216. Habitat Factors Affecting Sockeye Salmon Redd Site Selection in Off-Channel Ponds of a River Floodplain
217. Fish assemblages of perennial floodplain ponds of the Sacramento River, California (USA), with implications for the conservation of native fishes
218. Effects of flow variation on channel and floodplain biota and habitats of the Sacramento River, California, USA
219. Fish community structure and environmental correlates in the highly altered southern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
220. Implications of Floodplain Isolation and Connectivity on the Conservation of an Endangered Minnow, Oregon Chub, in the Willamette River, Oregon
221. Spawning and Rearing of Splittail in a Model Floodplain Wetland

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