Cui-ui Chasmistes cujus is endemic to Pyramid Lake, Nevada. The cui-ui population declined during much of the 20th century as a result of water diversion and the formation of a shallow and virtually impassable delta at the mouth of the Truckee River, its spawning habitat. The population increased more than 10-fold to more than 1 million adults after access to the river was restored, creating a period of relatively higher density. This change presented the opportunity to test intraspecific density effects on cui-ui age and length at maturity and on growth. We also compared the year-class structure of the adult population before and after improved access. At low density, cui-ui mean age at maturation was 9.2 years for males and 9.6 for females; at high density, it was significantly higher: 11.8 years for males and 12.0 for females. There was no significant change in mean fork length at maturity related to population increase. Growth patterns differed between high and low density, the low-density fish growing faster than high-density fish before their respective mean age of maturity; past their mean age at maturity, high-density fish grew significantly faster than low-density fish. Fish in both density periods reached similar lengths by about 19-20 years of age. Year-class structure for both density periods consisted of strong year-classes, which predominated the adult population for several years.
Additional publication details
Effects of population increase on cui-ui growth and maturation