The planktonic zooplankton assemblage in Mowich Lake, Mount Rainier National Park (MORA), was composed almost entirely of rotifers in 1966 and 1967. Adult pelagic crustacean taxa were rare. Their paucity was attributed to predation by kokanee salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), which had been stocked in 1961. During a park-wide survey of 24 lakes in 1988, Mowich Lake was the only one that did not contain at least one planktonic crustacean species. Given the apparent persistence of the unusual pelagic zooplankton assemblage in Mowich Lake, the first objective of this study was to document the interannual variation in the taxonomic structure of the zooplankton assemblages in the lake from 1988 through 1999. A second objective was to determine if it was possible to predict the taxonomic composition of the pelagic crustacean zooplankton assemblage in Mowich Lake prior to the stocking of kokanee salmon. The Mowich Lake zooplankton assemblages in 1988-1999 were consistent with those in 1966 and 1967. Crustacean taxa were extremely rare, but they included most of the primary taxa collected from 23 MORA lakes surveyed in 1988. Nonetheless, the 1988 collections showed that the September rotifer assemblage in Mowich Lake was similar to 10 of the 24 lakes sampled. Seven of the 10 lakes were dominated by cladocerans, primarily Daphnia rosea and Holopedium gibberum. Therefore, it appeared that either one or both of these species may have numerically dominated the crustacean zooplankton assemblage in the lake prior to 1961.
Additional publication details
Persistence of an unusual pelagic zooplankton assemblage in a clear, mountain lake