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Data from: A synthesis of the coast-wide decline in survival of west coast Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, Salmonidae)


Welch, David; Porter, Aswea; Rechisky, Erin (2020), Data from: A synthesis of the coast-wide decline in survival of west coast Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, Salmonidae), Dryad, Dataset,


We collated smolt-to-adult return rate (SAR) data for Chinook salmon from all available regions of the Pacific coast of North America to examine the large-scale patterns of salmon survival.  For consistency, our analyses primarily used coded wire tag-based (CWT) SAR estimates.  Survival collapsed over the past half century by roughly a factor of three to ca. 1% for many regions.  Within the Columbia River, the SARs of Snake River populations, often singled out as exemplars of poor survival, are unexceptional and in fact higher than estimates reported from many other regions of the west coast lacking dams.  Given the seemingly congruent decline in SARs to similar levels, the notion that contemporary survival is driven primarily by broader oceanic factors rather than local factors should be considered.  Ambitious Columbia River rebuilding targets may be unachievable because other regions with nearly pristine freshwater conditions, such as SE Alaska and northern BC, also largely fail to reach these levels.  Passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag-based SAR estimates available for Columbia River basin populations are generally consistent with CWT findings; however, PIT tag-based SARs are not adjusted for harvest which compromises their intended use because harvest rates are large and variable. More attention is needed on how SARs should be quantified and how rebuilding targets are defined.  We call for a systematic review by funding agencies to assess consistency and comparability of the SAR data generated and to further assess the implications of survival falling to similar levels in most regions of the west coast.


Contains the compilation of the survival-to-adult return (SAR) data for Chinook salmon used in the publication. See Table S1 from the publication for definition of fields and citations.  The data was compiled from several intergovernmental organizations which did the original collation and data aggregation.  The data we provide here are to document our own analyses for those interested in verifying the findings.  However, the original databases should be taken as the source for the most up-to-date data, as the data for the most recent years is occassionally updated.

Usage Notes

There are no missing values.  See the header row in each data file for source information.


Bonneville Power Administration, Award: Contract # 75025