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Subject: Re: Beaver and coho salmon habitat
From: [log in to unmask]
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 17 Dec 1996 21:53:22 -0500
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In a message dated 12/17/96 1:41:04 PM, you wrote:

>Can anyone supply any citations concerning the affect of beaver (Castor
>sp.) on wild coho salmon habitat?  Thanks.

Gene:

One of the most outstanding pieces of work on the role of beaver ponds on
production of wild coho was done as a Master's Thesis at the University of
Washington by N. Phil Peterson.  The reference is:

"The Role of Spring Ponds in the Winter Ecology and Natural Production of
Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington",
University of Washington, Master of Science, 1980.

I worked some with Phil on the study and one of the most important
conclusions was that native coho from particular tributaries would migrate
down a  mainstem stream as fry and then migrate up small creeks to overwinter
in spring ponds created by beaver activity.  The amazing fact was that fry
from specific tribs would use the same ponds year after year even though they
might  pass other ponds on their way downstream.  It implied there may be
some ingrained ability to recognize the specific over wintering area much
like that of returning salmon to their home stream for spawning.

I have a copy of Phil's thesis if you can't get one on loan from the U of W
fisheries library.

Regards, Jeff June--Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.

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