Researchers have found a new technique which provide insights on Chinook salmon. This technique allows the researchers to trace the birthplace and also to learn the first five years of the salmon’s life.
The study is carried by the researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks .
Researchers believe that the new technique will provide new understandings on the behavior of other species and it will also provide information on how location affects the fish’s survival.
In 2011, researchers discovered a chemical signature on the ear bones of the Chinook salmon, which are captured from the Alaskan Bristol bay region.
Researchers have observed the otoliths or fish ear bones, and they found that otolith grows layers as the fish grows, and the growth rings persist throughout the life of the salmon.
Researchers have found an element called strontium, which is generally found in bedrock and varies depending upon the location.
They discovered that strontium is transferred to the salmon by getting trapped to its ear bones while it swims.
Salmon travels across different waters but the chemical signature remained the same; this allowed the researchers to rule out exact waters where the salmon has traveled.
Sean Brennan, a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and lead author said, “Each fish has this little recorder, and we can reveal the whole life history of the fish from the perspective of the otolith. Each growth ring is a direct reflection of the environment the fish was swimming in at the time it was formed.”
Researchers have traced the birthplace and the places where the salmon has traveled by using a river system that maps the variation of the strontium isotope.
By using this technique they found that Chinook salmon was born in Nushagak watershed and stayed there for a year and then migrated to ocean.
This information can also help researchers understand and explain the declining population of the Chinook salmon.
This information will also help to understand and develop ways to conserve the species.