Rise in water temperature will lead to earlier salmon hatch dates

Water temperatures affect the length of salmon incubation, including the periods between spawning and hatching, and between hatching and the emergence of free-swimming fry. In Bristol Bay, Alaska, lake temperatures are predicted to increase by 0.7-1.4°C from 2015 to 2099 at the time of the year when incubation occurs, due to the effect of human emissions of greenhouse gases. As a result, sockeye salmon in Alaska will start hatching 16 to 30 days earlier than at present, according to a new model that examined the effects of climate change on 25 populations of sockeye salmon in four Alaskan lakes. The ecological consequences of these expected changes in the timing of hatching remain unknown, as the connections to the timing of fry emergence from gravels into the water column and their subsequent interactions with the plankton are not understood. The work was led by Morgan Sparks at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, included two SAFS coauthors, Professors Thomas Quinn and Daniel Schindler, and appears in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Change in the number of days from peak spawning (18 August) to hatching for Woody Island beach spawning sockeye salmon in Alaska, under two different scenarios modeling greenhouse gas emissions, and three climate models.
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