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Beth Bornhold


Beth Bornhold | MSc

Beth successfully defended her MSc in 1999. She is currently working in Prince Rupert with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Current address:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
North Coast Division
#202-417 2nd Ave W
Prince Rupert, BC
V8J 1G8

Phytoplankton-zooplankton interactions in the Strait of Georgia

"The study of factors influencing the marine survival of coho and chinook salmon in the Strait of Georgia" is a project implemented by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans to examine the response of coho and chinook salmon to variations in their oceanic environment. As part of this larger project, I will be investigating the lower trophic level interactions in the Strait of Georgia in an attempt to gain a greater understanding of the factors which cause interannual variability in the amount of phytoplankton and zooplankton produced. Factors such as nutrients, wind, phytoplankton biomass, temperature, salinity, Fraser River discharge, and El Niño will be examined. In addition, an historical dataset of the timing of the spring phytoplankton bloom and the timing of the surfacing of the dominant zooplankter in this region, Neocalanus plumchrus , as well as salmon production will be compiled and examined. This fits into the larger project as it addresses one of the working hypotheses, that large interannual variations in zooplankton biomass may be related to interannual variations in salmon returns. As salmon fishing is an important industry to the economy of BC, this has substantial relevance.

Study Area

The Strait of Georgia is located between Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia, Canada. The Fraser River flows into the Strait, as do many other rivers which provide spawning grounds for adult salmon. The Strait of Georgia acts as a nursery ground for many of the juvenile Pacific salmon, before they migrate to the open ocean.

Sampling will be conducted over three years (1996-1998), at three stations which lie along a transect between Nanaimo (Vancouver Island) and Roberts Creek (mainland BC). These stations are sampled bi-weekly, from February to June. At each station water samples, phytoplankton samples, and zooplankton samples are collected. In addition, phytoplankton data are being collected by a flow-through fluorometer which has been installed on the Queen of New Westminster ferry, which travels between Tsawwassen and Nanaimo.

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