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Biological / Geospatial Projects

aimed at answering important environmental questions

Survival of Fall Chinook Salmon in the Deschutes River: A mark-recapture-recovery study based on PIT tags

Project: Survival of Fall Chinook Salmon in the Deschutes River: A mark-recapture-recovery study based on PIT tags

Client: Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon (CTWSRO)

Year: 2017

Location: Deschutes River

In collaboration with CTWSRO, researchers from RTR are designing a study to quantify detection and survival probabilities of PIT-tagged juvenile fall Chinook salmon in the Deschutes River, Oregon. Detection efficiency will be evaluated at an in-stream PIT array located at the mouth of the Deschutes. Survival will be evaluated from paired releases of PIT-tagged smolts near spawning grounds upstream of Sherars Falls and from releases immediately upstream of the PIT array located at the mouth of the Deschutes River. Data will be analyzed using a novel hierarchical Bayesian model that we developed that simultaneously estimates fish survival and cause-specific mortality, providing information on where (spatially) and when (temporally) smolt mortality occurs in the Deschutes River. Collectively, results from this pilot study will be used to design future survival studies and to assist the CTWSRO in efforts to protect and maintain healthy runs of fall Chinook salmon in the Deschutes River.  


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