Non-native migratory salmonids ascend tributaries to spawn in all the Great Lakes. In Lake Ontario, these species include Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), coho salmon (O. kisutch), steelhead (O. mykiss), and brown trout (Salmo trutta). Although successful natural reproduction has been documented for many of these species, little research has been conducted on their spawning habitat. We examined the spawning habitat of these four species in the Salmon River, New York. Differences in fish size among the species were significantly correlated with spawning site selection. In the Salmon River, the larger species spawned in deeper areas with larger size substrate and made the largest redds. Discriminant function analysis correctly classified redds by species 64–100% of the time. The size of substrate materials below Lighthouse Hill Dam is within the preferred ranges for spawning for these four species indicating that river armoring has not negatively impacted salmonid production. Intra-specific and inter-specific competition for spawning sites may influence redd site selection for smaller salmonids and could be an impediment for Atlantic salmon (S. salar) restoration.
Additional publication details
Migratory salmonid redd habitat characteristics in the Salmon River, New York
Journal of Great Lakes Research
International Association for Great Lakes Research