Kim Sheldon

Department of Forest Sciences
3041 – 2424 Main Mall, UBC
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4
Position: M.Sc. Candidate

Study topic: Season-specific and stream size-specific survival rates of cutthroat trout 

I grew up in a coastal area — playing along shorelines, exploring estuaries and streams as they entered into the sea.  It was my work and recreational experience with the aquatic world, coupled with my passion for its conservation, which brought me to UBC as an undergraduate student in 2004.  In 2007 I graduated with my BSc in Natural Resource Conservation and am currently working on my master’s degree in Forestry.  My thesis question involves investigating the season-specific survival rates of cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki clarki) populations across a gradient of stream sizes in the coastal rainforests of British Columbia.

kim_sheldon_clip_image002Cutthroat trout are a species of ‘special concern’ ( in British Columbia, mainly due to changes to their native habitat, and competition with introduced fish species.  In addition to these local-scale threats, predicted changes in the seasonal distribution of precipitation could extend low flow periods in streams, which may be detrimental to the long-term conservation of some trout populations.  The breadth of my study involves individually marking trout across of gradient of stream sizes (small to large) so I may track apparent survival rates over different seasons of the year.  Marking each fish also enables me to estimate individual movement and growth rates of trout within and among streams of different sizes. Through determining how vulnerable cutthroat populations are to seasonal changes in flow conditions, and which attributes best help them to survive, we hope to help fisheries and forest managers anticipate the effects of prolonged low flow conditions when addressing their objectives for fisheries conservation.  Contact information: email