Polar Biology

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 817–825 | Cite as

Offshore ocean dispersal of adult Dolly Varden Salvelinus malma in the Beaufort Sea

  • Michael B. Courtney
  • Brendan Scanlon
  • Randy J. Brown
  • Audun H. Rikardsen
  • Colin P. Gallagher
  • Andrew C. Seitz
Original Paper


While it is known that Dolly Varden Salvelinus malma occupies offshore waters of the Bering and Chukchi seas in Alaska, the general scientific consensus is that this species typically occupies nearshore waters of the Beaufort Sea during its summer feeding season. Because of the importance of offshore waters for many upper trophic level vertebrates in this region, we tested if Dolly Varden occupies this area as well. Therefore, we attached pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) to Dolly Varden in the Beaufort Sea. Ten PSATs released from the fish and floated to the surface on pre-programmed dates throughout the summer, and transmitted archived depth and temperature data to satellites, while providing tag end locations. PSATs documented offshore dispersal of up to 69 km from the coast by Dolly Varden during the summer. Tagged fish were surface oriented with mean depths of individuals ranging from 0.1 to 2.2 m (total depth range 0–18.8 m), and experienced an ambient thermal environment of mostly 2–8 °C. The findings of this study highlight the importance of the offshore waters of the Beaufort Sea for Dolly Varden. Such knowledge aids in understanding potential impacts of human activities and environmental change in the Arctic.


Beaufort Sea Dispersal Dolly Varden PSATs Telemetry 



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Subsistence Management, provided funding support for this project through the Fisheries Resource Monitoring Program, under agreement number F14AC00256. Additional in-kind support was generously provided by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fairbanks Field Office, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the Arctic University of Norway. We thank Tine Hagelin, Justin Leon, Parker Bradley, and Ben Gray for their invaluable help during field operations. Finally, we thank Lee Kayotuk, Tori Sims and the residents of Kaktovik, AK for their support of the project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael B. Courtney
    • 1
  • Brendan Scanlon
    • 2
  • Randy J. Brown
    • 3
  • Audun H. Rikardsen
    • 4
  • Colin P. Gallagher
    • 5
  • Andrew C. Seitz
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Fisheries and Ocean SciencesUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  2. 2.Sport Fish DivisionAlaska Department of Fish and GameFairbanksUSA
  3. 3.Fairbanks Field OfficeU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceFairbanksUSA
  4. 4.Department of Arctic and Marine BiologyThe Arctic University of Norway - UiTTromsøNorway
  5. 5.Fisheries and Oceans CanadaWinnipegCanada

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