The purpose of this paper is to describe the annual variations in the density of an unexploited population of lotic brown trout Salmo trutta that has been censused annually for 19 years and to explore the importance of density-independent and density-dependent processes in regulating population size. Brown trout density and indices of stream discharge and water temperature were related to annual variations in natural mortality, recruitment, and growth. Annual mortality of age-1 and older (age-1+) brown trout ranged from 0.30 to 0.75 and was best explained by discharge during spring and by brown trout density. Recruitment to age 1 varied fivefold. Density of age-1 brown trout was inversely related to spawner density and positively related to discharge during the fall spawning period. The median length of age-1 brown trout was positively related to discharge during summer and fall. Relative weight was inversely related to the density of age-2+ brown trout. The interactive effects of discharge and brown trout density accounted for most of the annual variation in mortality, recruitment, and growth during the first year of life. Annual trends in the abundance of age-1+ brown trout were largely dictated by natural mortality. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2006.
Additional publication details
Regulation of an unexploited brown trout population in Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania