Homing & Straying

Salmon are renowned for their ability to return home to natal sites for reproduction with very high fidelity. However, some individuals do not home, but rather stray to non-natal areas. Straying is not an abberation; straying is a fundamental aspect of salmon biology. Straying facilitates the recolonization of new habitats, provides a life history bet hedge against catastrophic habitat change in the natal site, and is shaped by climate, social interactions, and human disturbance. The straying of hatchery produced salmonids in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest is also a major conservation challenge and members of the SEEC Lab are working to understand the causes and consequences of straying in both applied and fundamental contexts.  

Select SEEC Lab Papers

McConnell, C.J†., P.A.H. Westley, and Megan V. McPhee. 2018. Differences in fitness-associated traits between hatchery and wild chum salmon despite long-term immigration by strays. Aquaculture Environment Interactions 10: 99-113.

Yeakel, J.D., J.P. Gilbert, T. Gross, P.A.H Westley, and J.W. Moore. 2018. Eco-evolutionary dynamics, density-dependent dispersal and collective behaviour: implications for salmon metapopulation robustness. Philosophical Transactions B 373: 20170018.

Westley, P.A.H, A.H. Dittman, E.J. Ward, and T.P. Quinn. 2015. Signals of climate, conspecific density, and watershed features in patterns of homing and dispersal by Pacific salmon. Ecology, 96: 2823-2833.

Westley, P.A.H, T.P. Quinn, and A.H. Dittman. 2013. Straying in hatchery produced Pacific salmon and steelhead differs among species, life history forms, and populations. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 70: 735-746.