We studied predator-prey interactions between juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and trout in three Massachusetts, U.S.A., streams and in artificial streams. We sampled stomach contents of age-1+ and older salmon and trout (Salvelinus fontinalis, Salmo trutta) following salmon fry stocking in the spring of 1997 and 1998. Between 4.3 and 48.6% of the stocked fry were consumed within the first 2 days after stocking, and total fry mortality from predation varied from 4.3 to 60.7%. No significant differences were found between stomach weights of predators (without fry weight) that consumed fry and those that did not. Artificial stream experiments testing effects of habitat complexity and predator species on predator consumption rates revealed that consumption rates were not different between brook (S. fontinalis) and brown (S. trutta) trout (p = 0.59). Predation rate tended to decrease as the percentage of riffle habitat increased but the decrease was not significant (p = 0.22). Our results indicate that predation on stocked Atlantic salmon fry can be substantial (up to 60%), appears to be short lived (2 days), and is not related in a simple way to abiotic and biotic factors.
Additional Publication Details
Predation on stocked Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) fry
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences