, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 737-756
Date: 01 Mar 2014

Salmon ocean migration models suggest a variety of population-specific strategies

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Abstract

Many species of salmon around the world migrate to open ocean environments for multiple years and then return to their natal rivers to spawn. How exactly salmon are able to execute these long distance migrations, and the impact of environmental conditions on migration behavior, is not well understood. Individual based modeling is one tool that has been used to explore salmon migration in the ocean. Although models are usually not able to confirm whether a particular behavior is used, they can rule out some behaviors as unrealistic. An extensive review of published literature suggests that there is no universal migration behavior. Behaviors that fish use to navigate depend on where they are in the ocean relative to where they are going, as well as the ocean flows and conditions along the way. Future models of salmon migration should be flexible and at an appropriate scale to capture variable oceanographic conditions and fish responses.