Carrie Holt

Image Holt, Carrie
Research Scientist

My role includes evaluating management strategies for Pacific salmon, among other species.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Current research and/or projects

The goal of my research program is to develop tools to facilitate communication and decision-making at the interface between fisheries science and management in three broad areas. I am interested in identifying and evaluating biological benchmarks of population status of Pacific salmon and reference points for management. In addition, my program focuses on the integration of oceanographic information into models of salmon population dynamics to improve science advice to management. I am further interested in how the spatial dimension of ecological processes affects the distribution of fish species, and the implications for fisheries management. In my role coordinating assessments under Canada's Wild Salmon Policy, I am leading the development and evaluation of new methods for Pacific salmon to inform management plans.

Research and/or project statements


-Development of assessment methods for data-limited populations of Pacific salmon

-Evaluation of methods to assess time-varying productivity in populations of sockeye salmon, with applications to benchmarks of biological status

-Evaluation of sampling designs for spawning abundances of Pacific salmon using closed-loop simulations

-Evaluation of metrics and benchmarks to determine the genetic influence of hatcheries on wild salmon

Education and awards

M.Sc. (Freshwater biology), York University, 2001

Ph.D. (Resource and Environmental Management), Simon Fraser University, 2007

Key publications

  1. Holt, C.A., Folkes, M.J.P. 2015. Cautions on using percentile-based benchmarks of status for data-limited populations of Pacific salmon under persistent trends in productivity and uncertain outcomes from harvest management. Fisheries Research 171: 188-200.
  2. Haigh, R., Ianson, D., Holt, C.A., Neate, H.E., Edwards, A.M. 2015. Effects of Ocean Acidification on Temperate Coastal Marine Ecosystems and Fisheries in the Northeast Pacific. PLoS ONE 10: e0117533.
  3. Griffiths, J.R., Schindler, D.E., Armstrong, J.B., Scheuerell, M.D., Whited, D.C., Clark, R.A., Hilborn, R., Holt, C.A., Lindley, S.T., Stanford, J.A., Volk, E.C. 2014. Performance of salmon fishery portfolios across western North America. Journal of Applied Ecology 51: 1554-1563.
  4. Holt, C.A. and Irvine, J.R. 2013. Distinguishing benchmarks of biological status from management reference points: A case study on Pacific salmon in Canada. Environmental Conservation. Available on CJO2013. doi:10.1017/S0376892913000209.
  5. Araujo, H.A., Holt, C.A., Curtis, J.M.R., Perry, R.I., Irvine, J.R., and Michielsens, C.G.J., 2013. Building an ecosystem model using mismatched and fragmented data: a probabilistic network of early marine survival for coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch, in the Strait of Georgia. Progress in Oceanography 115:41-52.
  6. Peacock, S.J., Holt, C.A.. 2012.Metrics and sampling designs for detecting trends in the distribution of spawning Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 69:681-694
  7. Holt, C.A., Bradford, M.J.. 2011. Evaluating benchmarks of population status for Pacific salmon. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 31: 363-378
  8. Holt, C.A.. 2010. Will depleted populations of Pacific salmon recover under persistent reductions in survival and catastrophic mortality events?. ICES Journal of Marine Science , 67:2018-2026
  9. Holt, C.A., Mantua, N.M.. 2009.Defining spring transition: regional indices for the California Current System. Marine Ecology Progress Series , 393: 285-299
  10. Holt, C.A., de la Mare, W.K.. Feedback control systems in Pacific salmon fisheries. Fish & Fisheries , 31: 525-536
  11. Holt, C.A., Punt, A.E.. 2009. Incorporating climate information into rebuilding plans for overfished groundfish species of the U.S. west coast. Fisheries Research , 100: 57-67
  12. Holt, C.A., Rutherford, R.B., and Peterman, R.M.. 2008. International cooperation among nation-states of the North Pacific Ocean on the problem of competition among salmon for a common pool of prey resources. Marine Policy, 32: 607-617
  13. Holt, C.A., Peterman, R.M.. 2008.Uncertainties in population dynamics and outcomes of regulations in sockeye salmon fisheries: implications for management. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences , 65:1459-1474
  14. Holt, C.A., Peterman, R.M.. 2006.Missing the target: uncertainties in achieving management goals in fisheries on Fraser River, British Columbia, sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 63: 2722-2733
  15. Holt, C.A., Peterman, R.M.. 2004.Long-term trends in age-specific recruitment of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in a changing environment . Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences , 61: 2455-2470


Professor at:

  • Simon Fraser University