Richard Beamish

Scientist Emeritus
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Pacific Biological Station
Nanaimo, BC
Canada V9T 6N7

Phone: 250-756-7029

Fax: 250-756-7053


Research area(s):

  • Fisheries oceanography
  • Fisheries science and management
  • Juvenile salmon
  • Pacific salmon

Area of Expertise:

While Dr. Richard Beamish retired from DFO in 2011, he remains involved with the department as a scientist emeritus. Together with key staff, Chrys Neville, Ruston Sweeting and others, Dr. Beamish has been carrying out juvenile salmon surveys in the Strait of Georgia and Gulf Islands as part of a long term study of early marine life. Sampling is carried out in July, September and sometimes November. Work is carried out to examine marine survival, diet, residence patterns etc of the different salmon species.

Through collaboration with Kristi Miller and others, they are carrying out DNA analysis to improve understanding of the changes in the juvenile Chinook and sockeye salmon populations in the Strait of Georgia during their early marine life. This has provided information on important changes in the stock structure of both species between July and September.

Their analyses have indicated that Harrison River sockeye salmon appear in the Strait in July and are the dominant sockeye stock in the Strait of Georgia in September. This is important information as the Harrison River stock had increased marine survival in recent years whereas the marine survival of other (lake-type) Fraser River sockeye salmon stocks declined. To understand the mechanisms that may be regulating the marine survival of sockeye salmon in general, and this stock in particular, they are examining the marine distribution patterns to determine if there are specific rearing areas within the strait for various stocks or if the distribution between years varies.

Select Presentation(s) / Publication(s):

Neville, Chrys Ellen M.; Beamish, Richard J., “New information on resident areas of ocean age 0 Chinook salmon in the Strait of Georgia” (2018). Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference.133.

Beamish, R.J. (2018). -1. International Year of the Salmon (IYS): Teaming up internationally to understand Pacific salmon production. NIPPON SUISAN GAKKAISHI. 84. 922-922. 10.2331/suisan.WA2555-2.

Chittenden, C.M. & Sweeting, R.M. & Neville, Chrys & Young, Kelly & Galbraith, Moira & Carmack, Eddy & Vagle, Svein & Dempsey, Mike & Eert, J & Beamish, R.J.. (2017). Estuarine and marine diets of out-migrating Chinook Salmon smolts in relation to local zooplankton populations, including harmful blooms. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 200. 10.1016/j.ecss.2017.11.021.

Beamish, R.J.. (2017). What the past tells us about the future of Pacific salmon research. Fish and Fisheries. 10.1111/faf.12231.

Beacham, Terry & Beamish, R.J. & Neville, Chrys & Candy, John & Wallace, Colin & Tucker, Strahan & Trudel, Marc. (2016). Stock-Specific Size and Migration of Juvenile Coho Salmon in British Columbia and Southeast Alaska Waters. Marine and Coastal Fisheries Dynamics Management and Ecosystem Science. 8. 292-314. 10.1080/19425120.2016.1161683.

Cudney-Burch, J.L., R.A. Rulifson, S.E. Campana, R.J. Beamish, K.A. Sosebee, and T. Moore. [2008] Coastal movements of spiny dogfish: Current knowledge and future direction for research.

Beamish, R., W. Pennell, J. Wade, C. Neville and R. Sweeting. [2008] things to consider before deciding how sea lice impact pink salmon populations. Opinion paper. Trends in Parasitology

Beamish, R.J. and R.M. Sweeting. 2008.The history of surprises associated with Pacific salmon returns signals that critical information is missing from our understanding of their population dynamics. Proceedings of the AYK SSI Symposium on the Sustainability of the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim Salmon Fisheries held Feb 6-9, 2007, Anchorage AK.

Beamish, R.J., McFarlane, G.A., Sweeting, R.M. and Neville, C. 2008. The Sad History of Dogfish Management. Pp. XX-XX In V. Galucci, G. McFarlane, G. Bargman (editors) Biology and Management of Spiny Dogfish. American Fisheries Society Publication.

Beamish, R.J., Sweeting, R.M., Lange, K.L. and Neville, C.M. 2008. Changing trends in the population ecology of hatchery and wild coho salmon in the Strait of Georgia. Transactions of American Fisheries Society 137:503-520.

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