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

California Project

Research and development of a suitable method for estimating weekly-stratified abundances of migrating juvenile salmonids in the absence of mark-recpature experiments

January 2022 - January 2026


Participating Agencies

  • Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office

This project will develop new methods for computing statistically valid abundance estimates without mark-recapture data. Innumerable fish monitoring projects rely upon mark-recapture data to track various population metrics, such as long-term trends in abundance, fish health, and outmigration timing. However, marking and recapturing fish is an invasive process that causes fish stress. Furthermore, this becomes more difficult as populations decline and become threatened and endangered. The objective of this study is to develop new methods for estimating abundances that does not depend on mark-recapture data. These methods must be biologically and technically sound, since these monitoring data are often subject to intense scrutiny and relied on in court cases.