High Seas Salmon Research Program Laboratory
Our research program has a 645 ft2 laboratory located in the Fishery Sciences Building on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. Our lab houses the most extensive collection of high-seas salmon scales available in North America, with samples dating from the early 1950s to the present time. These samples were collected over decades of field work and through our long-term collaborations with US, Canadian, Japanese, Korean, and Russian scientists. Our lab provides full support for processing salmon scale samples, including a large-capacity scale press for making scale impressions and readers for magnifying scales for ageing studies. The lab contains electronic equipment capable of scanning, enlarging, enhancing, and storing digital scale images. Using scale imaging software, we can efficiently measure fine-grained salmon scale growth increments for analysis, comparison, and estimation of fish growth rates and life history. Our lab houses a reference collection of prey species found in high seas salmon and steelhead diets, and provides a workspace for processing and analysis of biological samples for salmon food habits analysis and other ecological process studies. These work areas include chemical resistant sink and counters, a fume hood, a cross-counter low-pressure ventilation station, numerous dissecting microscopes, specialized lighting, and personal lab safety equipment. Our lab also houses all US high seas tag recoveries and original data records from US high seas salmon tagging operations, 1954-present. High seas program staff and students also do laboratory work aboard vessels at sea.