Simple dynamics underlie sockeye salmon (oncorhynchus nerka) cycles

Ransom A. Myers, Gordon Mertz, Jessica M. Bridson, Michael J. Bradford

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    47 Citations (Scopus)


    A variety of mechanisms have been proposed to explain the renowned British Columbia sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) cycles, most of which invoke between-brood interactions (delayed density dependence) or depensatory harvest practices. We examine the dynamics of the Ricker model with realistic parameter values and suggest that the cycles could result from a stable mode excited by stochastic forcing. The previously proposed mechanisms are not required to generate cyclic patterns, although they could play a role in reinforcing cycles. Our results suggest that relaxing harvest rates will increase yields and decrease variability in sockeye abundances.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2355-2364
    Number of pages9
    JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998


    • sockeye salmon
    • fisheries
    • ricker model
    • statistical modelling


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