The Firehole River (FHR) in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is a world- renowned recreational fishery that predominantly includes rainbow trout (RBT, Oncorhynchus mykiss) and brown trout (BNT, Salmo trutta). The trout populations apparently are closed to immigration and have been self- sustaining since 1955. Inputs from hot springs and geysers increase the temperature and mineral content of the water, including elevating the boron (B) concentrations to a maximum of ~1 mg B/L. Both RBT and BNT reside in warm-water reaches, except when the water is extremely warm (???~25??C) during midsummer. They spawn in late fall and early winter, with documented spawning of BNT in the cold-water reach upstream from the Upper Geyser Basin and of RBT in the Lower Geyser Basin reach, where water temperatures presumably are the warmest; however, successful recruitment of RBT in waters containing ~1 mg B/L has not been demonstrated conclusively. Thus, we began investigating the relationships among temperature, B concentrations, other water-quality parameters, and the distribution and reproduction of trout in the FHR in spring 1997. However, atypical high water flows and concomitant lower than historical temperatures and B concentrations during summer 1997 preclude conclusions about avoidance of high B concentrations.
Additional publication details
Relationships between Boron concentrations and trout in the firehole river, Wyoming: Historical information and preliminary results of a field study