Discussing the Phenomenon of Pre-spawn Mortality in Coho Salmon, with Julann Spromberg and Nat Scholz

Spawning coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Credit: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington, CC BY 2.0.

Julann Spromberg and Nat Scholz talk about the phenomenon of pre-spawn mortality in coho salmon in the Pacific Northwest. Their paper “Estimating the future decline of wild coho salmon populations resulting from early spawner die-offs in urbanizing watersheds of the Pacific Northwest, USA” is published in the October 2011 issue of IEAM.

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Summary
Drs. Spromberg and Scholz are authors of a paper in the October 2011 issue of IEAM that estimates future population declines of wild coho salmon in the Pacific Northwest. That decline is estimated based on high rates of premature mortality in adult coho salmon that have been occurring since the late 1990s. Listen in to hear them discuss potential causes of pre-spawn mortality, how the local die-offs in urban streams are affecting the greater coho salmon population.

About the Guests

Nat Scholz and Julann Spromberg

Julann Spromberg is a Research Toxicologist at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington, USA, which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Her work applies life-history modeling to investigate the how sublethal effects, such as changes in individual growth or fecundity, translate into population-level effects depending on the demographic traits affected. She accomplishes this by integrating information on toxicology, physiology, ecology, and life history characteristics to assess risk from chemical exposures to threatened and endangered populations. She obtained her B.S. degree from Western Washington University and her doctorate in toxicology from the University of Kentucky.

Nat Scholz leads the Ecotoxicology Program at the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Ecotox research is designed to guide the stewardship of NOAA trust resources, including threatened and endangered species. He earned a PhD in Zoology from the University of Washington. His research interests are in marine and freshwater conservation biology, with an emphasis on changing human land use activities, water quality, and ecological resiliency.

Articles Referenced in this Podcast
Spromberg JA, Scholz NL. 2011. Estimating the future decline of wild coho salmon populations resulting from early spawner die-offs in urbanizing watersheds of the Pacific Northwest, USA. IEAM 7#4:648–656.

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