Dispersal Patterns and Summer Ocean Distribution of Adult Dolly Varden Char in the Chukchi Sea, evaluated with pop-up satellite tags

Project Description

In Arctic Alaska, Dolly Varden char is highly valued as a subsistence fish; however, little is known about oceanic dispersal or ecology. This study addresses this knowledge gap, by using a fisheries independent method, pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs). In spring of 2012 and 2013, we attached 52 PSATs to Dolly Varden in a river in northwestern Alaska, which flows into the Arctic Ocean, to examine the marine dispersal, behavior and habitat occupancy of this species. This study demonstrates that PSATs offer an alternative and effective platform with which to study several aspects of large adult Dolly Varden dispersal and ecology in areas where it is not practical or feasible to capture these fish, such as in coastal and offshore regions of Arctic Alaska. Additionally, the results of this study have increased our knowledge of the summer marine distribution, behavior and thermal environment of Dolly Varden in Arctic regions of Alaska, and this knowledge is important to several stake holders for the conservation of this important subsistence species.

Research Team

Principal Investigator

picture of Andrew "Andy" Seitz

Andrew "Andy" Seitz

Associate Professor
  • Fish behavior
  • fish migration
  • behavioral ecology
  • electronic tagging
(907) 474-5254
Full Profile

Co-Principal Investigator

Brendan Scanlon, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, brendan.scanlon@alaska.gov 

Research Students and Staff

Michael Courtney, M.S. Fisheries
Audun Rikardsen, The Arctic University of Norway, audun.rikardsen@uit.no

Project Funding

Coastal Marine Institute, Rasmuson Fisheries Research Center, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Red Dog Mine
Amount: ~$600,000
Start Date: 2012-06-00 End Date: 2015-12-00

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