Cetacean Sightings and Identification Photography

Station users record all marine mammal sightings in our database, including opportunistic sightings while performing other research and data collected during surveys with high school and college students.  All data is shared with the BC Cetacean Sightings Network. In 2017, Salmon Coast was one of the top 3 contributors to the BC Cetacean Sightings Network. We also send identification photos to local researchers for ID, enriching local knowledge on the behaviour and range of these fascinating animals.

This work would not be possible without the shared expertise of the Marine Education and Research Society (MERS), and we are grateful for this collaboration.

State of the Salmon Population Analyses

chum in ahta copyIn 2018, Salmon Coast will be pursuing an exciting new project, funded in part by the Canada Summer Jobs program and the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association. We’ll be pursuing salmon population analyses for DFO Area 12, investigating important questions related to the viability of local populations related to regional and historical trends and return patterns.

Mini Humps – Unique Land-Locked Sockeye

Kokanee Salmon_collection team 2015In 2015, the Catch-Clip-Release program helped to identify a unique population of kokanee salmon – land-locked sockeye – in a heavily logged watershed on Gilford Island.  In 2016, we collaborated with the University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, and Department of Fisheries and Oceans to: (i) complete research on the characteristics of the newly identified kokanee population, (ii) investigate the watershed’s current characteristics and industrial logging history in relation to the kokanee population’s evolutionary origins, and (iii) examine genetic relatedness between these kokanee and nearby ocean-run sockeye populations, some of which are understudied and will be sampled, analysed, and added to the genetic baseline.

This initiative was led by Mack Bartlett, and were published in his MSc thesis. Results from this research will inform discussions on how to explore research directions and sampling of other understudied salmon populations.