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Temporal synchrony and variation in abundance of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in two subarctic Barents Sea rivers: influence of oceanic conditions

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Long-term variation in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) stocks was analyzed in two Barents Sea rivers, the Teno and Näätämöjoki, that represent the northernmost distribution area of the species. In contrast to most of the North Atlantic area, these rivers are among a group of northern salmon rivers that, despite wide annual variation in catches, demonstrate no consistent trend for declining abundance. Variations in abundance were generally synchronous for the total catch and numbers of 1-sea-winter (1SW) and 2SW salmon during period of 1972–2003. Part of the variation observed in catches could be related to ocean climate conditions as the mean seawater temperature in July during the year of smoltification for the Kola section of the Barents Sea was significantly related to numbers of 1SW, 2SW, and 3SW salmon in the large River Teno. In contrast, NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) indices were not related to salmon catches. The latest increase (1999–2001) in salmon catches in these rivers reflects both temporarily improved oceanic conditions and past management measures affecting offshore, coastal, and river fisheries.

Nous avons analysé les variations à long terme des stocks du saumon atlantique (Salmo salar) dans deux rivières tributaires de la mer de Barents, la Teno et la Näätämöjoki, qui représentent l'aire de répartition la plus boréale de l'espèce. Contrairement à ce qui se passe dans la majeure partie de la région de l'Atlantique nord, ces rivières appartiennent à un groupe de cours d'eau qui, malgré d'importantes variations annuelles des prises, n'affichent pas de tendance soutenue de déclin d'abondance. Les variations d'abondance se manifestent généralement de façon simultanée dans les prises totales, les nombres de saumons ayant passé un hiver (1SW) et deux hivers (2SW) en mer durant la période de 1972–2003. Une partie de la variation observée dans les prises pourrait être reliée aux conditions climatiques de l'océan, puisque, les années de transformation en saumoneau, la température moyenne de l'eau de mer en juillet dans la section de Kola de la mer de Barents est significativement reliée aux nombres de saumons 1SW, 2SW et 3SW dans la grande rivière Teno. En revanche, il n'y a pas de relation entre les indices NAO (oscillation nord-atlantique) et les prises de saumons. La dernière augmentation des prises (1999–2001) de saumons dans ces rivières reflète à la fois une amélioration temporaire des conditions océaniques et les mesures d'aménagement du passé qui ont affecté les pêches au large, sur les côtes et dans les rivières.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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