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Dalton Hance

Fisheries data does not speak for itself – no matter the size, detail, complexity, or expense at which it was collected. My research is focused on improving and applying statistical methods that maximize the value of existing data or of planned studies for assessing fish movement and survival, and the relationships of these demographic parameters to management levers.

I work at the Columbia River Research Laboratory as a Research Statistician within the Quantitative Fisheries Ecology Section. Currently, my work is focused on Snake River Fall Chinook salmon and Chinook salmon in the Sacramento – San Joaquin system. My graduate work investigated seasonal movement of Oregon Coast Coho Salmon by accounting for imperfect detection of tagged individuals. Prior to working with USGS, I conducted statistical analysis of environmental contaminants in fish, sediment, and water in various locations throughout the United States.

Research Interests:

My main research interest is in developing and applying mark-recapture models to fisheries data. Simple mark-recapture models have been used for decades to inform management data in the Columbia River and other basins. However, many existing methods do not take full advantage of the wealth of data offered by telemetry data. For example, analysts commonly ignore the temporal dimension of these data by either aggregating fish released or detected over several days or weeks into an artificial “single-release”, often this entails discarding data (e.g. fish released or detected outside of an arbitrary timeframe). I am interested in developing and expanding process-based statistical models that account for this temporal variation and make more efficient use of the available data while also providing more informative results that can address operational and environmental conditions at a timescale that is relevant to management (e.g. daily).