Area of Expertise:
David Welch has a B.Sc. from the U. of Toronto (Biology & Economics) and a Ph.D. from Dalhousie University (Oceanography). David joined Fisheries and Oceans Canada in 1985 and was appointed head of the High Seas Salmon Program in 1990. During the next decade he was responsible for studying the ocean biology of Pacific salmon, and provided some of the first compelling evidence for a potentially profound impact of global warming on Pacific salmon in the ocean. David developed the original concept of building large scale marine tracking arrays, particularly for application to Pacific salmon management, and founded Kintama in 2000 to bring the concept to reality by developing the core enabling technologies for designing, deploying, and operating large-scale marine telemetry arrays efficiently. The resulting infrastructure is beginning to have true impact for scientific experiment, discovery and important policy decisions on fisheries worldwide. In 2012 he received the J.P. Tully Medal in Oceanography from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for his work on developing marine telemetry arrays for addressing salmon conservation problems, and the Award of Excellence in Fisheries Management from the American Fisheries Society.
Using these acoustic-based telemetry systems, David has been involved in many Salish Sea studies by Kintama to assess steelhead, Chinook, sockeye, and coho smolt behaviour and survival between lakes and the Fraser River estuary, in the Strait of Georgia, and in Discovery Passage, as well as collaborative research with Professor Scott Hinch of UBC to measure freshwater and early marine survival of Chilko Lake sockeye smolts.
Select Presentation(s) / Publication(s):
Welch, DW, Porter, AD, Rechisky, EL. A synthesis of the coast‐wide decline in survival of West Coast Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, Salmonidae). Fish Fish. 2021; 22: 194– 211. https://doi.org/10.1111/faf.12514
Summary for Policy Makers –
Duguid, Will; Qualley, Jessica; Pellett, Kevin; Rechisky, Erin; Welch, David; Juanes, Francis, “A case study of fine scale habitat use by first ocean year Chinook salmon: implications for growth and predation exposure” (2018). Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. 367. https://cedar.wwu.edu/ssec/2018ssec/allsessions/367/
Rechisky, Erin; Porter, Aswea; Welch, David; Stevenson, Christine; Johnston, Stephen; Furey, Nathan; and Hinch, Scott, “Exposure time of juvenile sockeye salmon to Discovery Islands salmon farms” (2018). Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. 343. https://cedar.wwu.edu/ssec/2018ssec/allsessions/343
Rechisky EL., Porter AD, Clark TD, Furey NB, Gale MK, Hinch SG, and Welch DW (2018) Quantifying Survival of Age Two Chilko Lake Sockeye Salmon during the First 50 Days of Migration. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. doi: 10.1139/cjfas-2017-0425. Available at: http://www.nrcresearchpress.com.
Healy SJ, Hinch SG, Bass AL, Furey NB, Welch DW, Rechisky EL, Eliason EJ, Lotto AG, Miller KM (2018) Transcriptome profiles relate to migration fate in hatchery steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) smolts. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. doi.10.1139/cjfas-2017-0424. Available at: http://www.nrcresearchpress.com.
Healy SJ, Hinch SG, Porter AD, Rechisky EL, Welch DW, Eliason EJ, Lotto AG, and Furey NB (2017) Route-specific movements and survival during early marine migration of hatchery steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss smolts in coastal British Columbia. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 577:131-147. Doi:10.3354/meps12238. Available at: Inter-Research.
Welch DW, Porter AD, and Winchell P (2017) Use of time-depth recorders to determine fishing depth of commercial setnets and inform mangement in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Animal Biotelemetry 5(11): 11 pages. doi:10.1186/s40317-017-0126-y. Available at: http://rdcu.be/rSD0 .
Clark TD, Furey NB, Rechisky EL, Gale MK, Jeffries KM, Porter AD, Casselman MT, Lotto AG, Patterson DA, Cooke SJ, Farrell AP, Welch DW, and Hinch SG (2016). Tracking wild sockeye salmon smolts to the ocean reveals distinct regions of nocturnal movement and high mortality. Ecological Applications 26(4): 959-978. doi: 10.1890/15-0632. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1890/15-0632/full.
Drenner SM, Hinch SG, Martins EG, Furey NB, Clark TD, Cook SJ, Patterson DA, Welch DW, Farrell AP, and Thomson RE (2015) Environmental conditions and physiological state influence estuarine behaviour of homing sockeye salmon. Fisheries Oceanography 24(4): 307-324. doi:10.1111/fog.12110. Available at:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1111/fog.12110/full.
Furey NB, Vincent SP, Hinch SG, and Welch DW (2015) Variability in migration routes influences early marine survival of juvenile salmon smolts. PLoS ONE 10(10):e0139269. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0139269. Available at: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0139269.