The diurnal winter habitat of three species of juvenile salmonids was examined in a tributary of Skaneateles Lake, NY to compare habitat differences among species and to determine if species/age classes were selecting specific habitats. A total of 792 observations were made on the depth, velocity, substrate and cover (amount and type) used by sympatric subyearling Atlantic salmon, subyearling brown trout and subyearling and yearling rainbow trout. Subyearling Atlantic salmon occurred in shallower areas with faster velocities and less cover than the other salmonid groups. Subyearling salmon was also the only group associated with substrate of a size larger than the average size substrate in the study reach during both winters. Subyearling brown trout exhibited a preference for vegetative cover. Compared with available habitat, yearling rainbow trout were the most selective in their habitat use. All salmonid groups were associated with more substrate cover in 2002 under high flow conditions. Differences in the winter habitat use of these salmonid groups have important management implications in terms of both habitat protection and habitat enhancement.
Additional publication details
Diurnal stream habitat use of juvenile Atlantic salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout in winter