Winter habitat use by Yellowstone cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri was monitored with radiotelemetry during November-March 1998-2001 in channelized and unaltered sections of the Snake River near Jackson, Wyoming. The use of run and off-channel pool habitat was significantly correlated to water temperature; run use was most frequent when mean water temperature exceeded 1.0??C, and off-channel pool use was greatest when mean water temperature was below 1.0??C. Available habitat was surveyed during winter 1999-2000 and was compared with actual habitat use. This comparison indicated that cutthroat trout avoided riffle habitat, selected deep runs, and strongly selected off-channel pool habitat. Large, deep, off-channel pools with groundwater influence were uncommon in the study area but were frequently selected as over-wintering habitat in the channelized section during all three study years. During 2000-2001, mainstem water temperatures were significantly colder than in 1998-1999 or 1999-2000, and anchor ice was observed more frequently in 2000-2001 than in 1998-1999 or 1999-2000 (on 18 d versus 5 d and 3 d, respectively). Mean water temperatures in off-channel pools were not significantly different among years. Depth and shelf ice were most frequently identified as cover elements in the channelized section. Run habitat was more common and used more frequently upstream of the channelized section. Large woody debris was more common and selected more frequently as cover in the unaltered section than in the channelized section.
Additional Publication Details
Winter Habitat Use by Cutthroat Trout in the Snake River near Jackson, Wyoming