Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Earth and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Pitcher, Trevor

Second Advisor

Love, Oliver


Aquaculture; Chinook salmon; Farmed; Hybrids; Multiple Populations; Outbreeding




Approximately 20% of British Columbia's salmon farming industry is represented by native Pacific Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Few commercial facilities rear Chinook salmon, limiting their breeding stocks which may allow for inbreeding and can potentially lead to downstream effects on product quality. As consumers refuse to pay for low quality products even when prices are reduced, product quality metrics have become increasingly important to the aquaculture industry. As such, there is a need to determine whether product quality of farmed Chinook salmon can be improved through hybridization between wild and farmed populations. Product quality metrics were assessed in adult Chinook salmon generated from hybrids between six wild populations and one inbred commercial population to determine the impact of hybridization on product quality. Assessed quality metrics included slaughter yield, fillet yield, condition factor, colour, and lipid content. Overall, I found that fillet quality metrics differed across populations, and that hybrid populations did not outperform the farmed control in most metrics except for colour. I further aimed to examine the relationship between growth rate and product quality. I found that growth had significant relationships with traits of commercial interest such as, colour, fat content, jacking rate, and condition factor. Although hybrid populations did not outperform the farmed population, this thesis provides evidence that hybrid chinook salmon may be competitive commercially as they exceed or perform at desired market values for traits.