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Upper Columbia River Steelhead Capture-Recapture-Recovery data (2008-2018)

Citation

Payton, Quinn; Hostetter, Nathaniel (2020), Upper Columbia River Steelhead Capture-Recapture-Recovery data (2008-2018) , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.k98sf7m3r

Abstract

In the Columbia River basin, USA, predation by Caspian terns (Hydroprogne caspia) on U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed juvenile salmonids (smolts; Oncorhynchus spp.) has led to predator management actions to reduce predation; however, the assumption that reduced predation translates into greater salmonid survival, either within the life stage where predation occurs or across their lifetime, has remained untested. To address this critical uncertainty, we analyzed a long-term (2008-2018) mark-recapture-recovery dataset of ESA-listed steelhead trout (O. mykiss) that were tagged (n = 78,409) and subsequently exposed to predation during smolt out-migration through multiple river reaches (spatial-scales), jointly estimating weekly probabilities of steelhead survival, mortality due to bird predation, and mortality due to other causes. This concurrent estimation across time-stratified cohorts allowed for the direct measurement of the strength, magnitude, and direction of relationships between survival and Caspian tern predation. Results of our analysis provided novel evidence that predation by Caspian terns may have been a super additive source of mortality during the smolt life-stage and a partially additive source of mortality to the adult life-stage. The estimated levels of compensation have important implications for predator management actions aimed at increasing the survival of endangered salmonids, and the modelling approach developed herein provides a framework to directly quantify the impacts of source-specific mortality factors on prey populations.