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


Understanding Atlantic salmon kelt behavior and survival

January 2022 - December 2024


Participating Agencies

Repeat spawners are a biologically important part of an intact Atlantic salmon population, and these fish are almost completely missing in the Gulf of Maine DPS. The migration process of adult Atlantic salmon is energetically costly, so successful reproduction and survival is normally limited. Access to spawning habitat and post-spawn survival are further hampered by ineffective upstream and downstream passage at dams. Post-spawn behavior and passage success in the Gulf of Maine are poorly characterized and represent critical deficits for informed management. We intend to collaborate with the University of Maine to support a graduate student through the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology to study survival and passage of these post spawn adults. The work would leverage significant telemetry infrastructure and experience already dedicated to river studies in the region. Products will include a master’s thesis as well as a peer reviewed publication that will address several key recovery actions identified in the final recovery plan thereby informing recovery actions.