Carrie Holt

Image Holt, Carrie
Research Scientist

My role includes evaluating management strategies for Pacific salmon.

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 leading the development and evaluation of assessment methods for data-limited stocks of Pacific salmon to inform management. In particular, 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.

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. Freshwater, C., Anderson, S.C., Holt, K.R., Huang, A.-M., Holt, C.A. 2019 Weakened portfolio effects constrain management effectiveness for population aggregates. Ecological Applications.
  2. Debertin, A.J., Irvine, J.R., Holt, C.A., Oka, G., and Trudel, Marc. 2017. Marine growth patterns of southern British Columbia chum salmon explained by interactions between density-dependent competition and changing climate. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 74:1077-1087.
  3. Ruff, C. P., J. H. Anderson, I. M. Kemp, N. W. Kendall, P. A. McHugh, A. Velez-Espino, C. M. Greene, M. Trudel, C. A. Holt, K. E. Ryding, and K. Rawson. 2017. Salish Sea Chinook salmon exhibit weaker coherence in early marine survival trends than coastal populations. Fisheries Oceanography. URL:
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. Holt, C.A., Bradford, M.J.. 2011. Evaluating benchmarks of population status for Pacific salmon. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 31: 363-378
  11. 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
  12. Holt, C.A., Mantua, N.M.. 2009.Defining spring transition: regional indices for the California Current System. Marine Ecology Progress Series , 393: 285-299
  13. Holt, C.A., de la Mare, W.K.. Feedback control systems in Pacific salmon fisheries. Fish & Fisheries , 31: 525-536
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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

Research facility

3190 Hammond Bay Road
Nanaimo, BC V9T 6N7


Professor at:

  • Simon Fraser University