Does maternal life history strategy influence optimal management regimes for wild salmon?

Prof. NB Metcalfe,  Dr John Armstrong (Marine Scotland Freshwater Laboratory) Mr Simon McKelvey (Cromarty Firth District Salmon Fishery Board) Dr Alastair Stephen (Scottish & Southern Electricity)

This project will investigate the importance of maternal life history strategy for offspring performance under contrasting environmental conditions, to test for the first time whether or not the variation in offspring produced by different life history categories of female salmon is linked to their differential survival in different habitats.

We will then apply this information to the practical problem of how best to stock salmon rivers with eggs so as to maximise productivity, and experimentally test the effectiveness of different stocking policies.

This project brings together experimental behavioural and physiological ecologists who work on salmon, with fisheries managers and fish biologists from industry who have responsibility for the stocking and management of salmon rivers. The project will use a series of novel field and laboratory experiments on Atlantic salmon to test predictions based on the working hypothesis that the variation in offspring traits is adaptive.