Wild stocks of chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta are supplemented by hatchery fry enhancement programs in northern Honshu, Japan. To maintain these programs, there is a need to reduce expenses and labor. Eyed egg planting is more cost effective than hatchery production of fry. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of environmental conditions on survival of chum salmon eyed eggs planted using Whitlock–Vibert boxes. We measured the percent cumulative weight of fine sediments, Fredle index (FI) as a measure of permeability, vertical hydraulic gradient, water depth (WD), and flow velocity at planting locations. Egg-to-fry survival averaged 92.7% (range: 57.2–100%) in 2013 (N = 19) and 71.5% (range: 6.4–100%) in 2014 (N = 23). Survival was significantly positively correlated with FI and flow velocity, negatively associated with percent cumulative weight of fine sediments and WD. Vertical hydraulic gradient had no effect on survival. Our results suggest that a higher FI (i.e., low amount of fine material and larger particle size), higher flow velocity, and shallower WD reduce the mortality of planted chum salmon eyed eggs. This is likely a result of increased permeability in the substrate and restriction of fine sediment intrusion into the incubation zone.
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