Data from: Habitat-mediated effects of diurnal and seasonal migration strategies on juvenile salmon survival
Melnychuk, Michael C.; Welch, David W. (2018), Data from: Habitat-mediated effects of diurnal and seasonal migration strategies on juvenile salmon survival, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f06k49s
Behavioral decisions during periods of vulnerability to predation risk, such as migrations during the juvenile life-history stage, may strongly affect the probability of survival. Habitats through which animals migrate are heterogeneous, and risk-reducing behaviors may be more important in some habitats than others. Using biotelemetry data, diurnal and seasonal riverine migration patterns of >3800 juvenile salmon across four species, 12 watersheds, and five years were quantified to evaluate possible effects of migration timing on survival from lower river reaches to coastal waters. In small, clear rivers most salmon avoided migrating during daylight hours, and average survival of fish migrating at night (55%; 95% confidence limits 50–61%) was twice that of fish migrating in daylight (24%; CL 17-31%). Conversely, in the large, heavily silted Fraser River neither preference for nocturnal travel nor effects of diurnal timing on survival were observed. Early ocean survival was also influenced by the timing of ocean entry, but in opposite directions for fish from the Fraser River and smaller rivers. In the Fraser River, average survival for later migrants (69%; CL 60–77%) was nearly twice that of earlier migrants (38%; CL 33–44%), likely related to seasonal increases in river flow. In contrast, in smaller rivers, average survival for earlier migrants (70%; CL 65–74%) was 3-fold greater than survival for later migrants (19%; 95% CL 14–25%). Together these results demonstrate that timing decisions affecting survival of juvenile salmon during their migration are likely mediated by landscape characteristics that plausibly influence the risk of predation.