IFR’s integrative approach

IFR integrates technologies to develop creative solutions to fisheries issues. Combining technologies allows IFR to study ecological processes at scales relevant to the clients’ needs. For example, IFR uses multiple remote sensing technologies to develop novel approaches to estimate migration survival and escapement in large watersheds. IFR combines different tools at all project levels, from data collection to report production. IFR is currently developing open source R packages to automate data management and quality control for all projects.


Cost-effective temperature monitoring

Using watershed characteristics to inform cost-effective stream temperature monitoring
Douglas C. Braun
, John D. Reynolds, David A. Patterson

Water temperature is a key driver of aquatic processes. Monitoring stream water temperature is key to understanding current species distributions and future climate change impacts on freshwater ecosystems. However, a very small fraction of streams are continuously monitored for water temperature throughout North America, due to prohibitive logistical costs. We develop a framework that aids in developing cost-effective stream temperature monitoring by using stream habitat features to inform strategic site selection of temperature monitoring sites. We test this framework using sockeye salmon spawning streams as a model, which included 19 streams in the northern-most watershed of the Fraser River Basin, British Columbia, Canada. The objective of this framework is to evaluate the trade-off between cost (i.e., the number of streams monitored) and the effectiveness of monitoring scenarios at meeting different monitoring objectives. We compared monitoring scenarios that were informed by well-established relationships between variables and that are commonly collected or available as part of other monitoring activities (stream length, magnitude, order, gradient, wetted width, and spot temperatures) and water temperature metrics (maximum, mean, and variance during August) derived from continuously monitored streams to monitoring scenarios where streams were randomly selected. Informed scenarios included streams that were selected in order of watershed level and stream habitat characteristics (e.g., longest to shortest); ordering was based on the relationship between each habitat variable and temperature metrics. Informed monitoring scenarios were then compared to random selection of monitoring sites with regard to how well monitoring scenarios met two management objectives during the critical salmon spawning period: (1) identifying streams that exceed a temperature threshold and (2) identifying streams that represent the temperature regime of a complex of streams (e.g., mean and variance of streams within an aggregate of streams). Management objectives were met by monitoring fewer streams using the informed monitoring scenarios rather than the average of the random scenarios. This highlights how common inexpensive watershed level variables that relate to stream temperature can inform the strategic selection of sites and lead to more cost-effective stream temperature monitoring.

Population diversity in salmon

Population diversity in salmon: linkages among response, genetic and life history diversity
Douglas C. Braun
, Jonathan W. Moore, John Candy, Richard Bailey

Response diversity and asynchrony are important for stability and resilience of meta-populations, however little is known about the mechanisms that might drive such processes. In salmon populations, response diversity and asynchrony have been linked to the stability of their meta-populations and the fisheries that integrate across them. We examined how population diversity influenced response diversity and asynchrony in 42 populations of Chinook salmon from the Fraser River, British Columbia. We examined diversity in the survival responses to large-scale ocean climate variables for populations that differed in life history. Different life-histories responded differently to ocean environmental conditions. For instance, an increase of offshore temperature was associated with decreased survival for a population with ocean rearing juveniles but increased survival for a population with stream rearing juveniles. In a second analysis, we examined asynchrony in abundance between populations, which we then correlated with life history, spatial, and genetic diversity. Populations that were more genetically distant had the most different population dynamics. Collectively, these results suggest that fine-scale population diversity can contribute to the asynchrony and response diversity that underpins the stability of fisheries or metapopulation dynamics, and emphasize the need to manage and conserve this scale of population diversity.