Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Alaska
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Alaska Project

Landscape Characteristics Influence Climate Change Effects on Juvenile Chinook and Coho Salmon Rearing Habitat in the Kenai River

July 2013 - August 2020


Participating Agencies

  • EPSCoR

Shifts in water temperature regime influence juvenile salmon freshwater rearing habitat differently depending on local temperature and food conditions, but neither are well-characterized in the Kenai River watershed. Regional stakeholders in the Kenai Peninsula are concerned about the future of salmon populations in the face of climate change. A more detailed understanding of how environmental variables influence juvenile salmon growth rates will help inform us on how these fish will fare in a changing landscape. Objectives are to (1) characterize how juvenile Chinook and coho salmon growth rates respond to projected rising water temperatures across diverse landscape settings, and (2) examine the degree to which stream temperature monitoring sites in lower reaches are representative of upstream thermal conditions. Project results will provide support to the growing consensus that diverse habitats within a watershed support diverse early-life history opportunities for juvenile salmon and underscore the regional variability of climate change influence on Pacific salmon lifecycles.

Presentations Presentation Date
Meyer, B, M Wipfli, D Rinella, E Schoen, J Falke. 2020. Landscape diversity filters climate change influence on juvenile Chinook and Coho salmon rearing habitat in the Kenai River. Alaska Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, Fairbanks, AK. March 2020
Meyer, B, M Wipfli, D Rinella, E Schoen, J Falke. 2019. Climate warming effects on juvenile Chinook and Coho salmon growth are modulated by glacial-coverage in sub-basins of the Kenai River watershed. Mat-Su Salmon Symposium. Nov 2019, Palmer, AK. November 2019