Skip to content

New study on complex drivers of salmon migration

Pacific salmon are a valuable food and cultural resource in the Columbia River Basin, but their survival is threatened due to various drivers.  Particularly, climate change causes changes in water temperatures and flows, and multiple dams that provide navigation, flood control, and hydropower production also act as physical barriers to migration.  As salmon are part of this complex system of natural variability and competing human objectives, it is critical to understand drivers and timescales associated with migration dynamics.

In a recently published study by Goodwell and Campbell (CU Denver CVEN, MS 2020), we use information theory-based measures, which characterize uncertainty and reductions in uncertainty, to detect dependencies between salmon counts, water temperatures, flow rates, and other environmental variables.  We find key differences between fall and spring spawning runs that indicate how processes vary between seasons, and consider both individual and joint drivers of salmon migration timing.  At a longer timescale, we detect annual drivers of salmon abundances that include water temperatures and oceanic conditions.  This study introduces a suite of metrics with which to characterize life cycle drivers and feedbacks related to salmon, but could be applied to study influences on other species.

You can find the full article at this link:

CU Denver Engineering, Design and Computing View All

At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: