We conducted laboratory experiments to parameterize a bioenergetics model for wild Bull Trout Salvelinus confluentus, estimating the effects of body mass (12–1,117 g) and temperature (3–20°C) on maximum consumption (C max) and standard metabolic rates. The temperature associated with the highest C max was 16°C, and C max showed the characteristic dome-shaped temperature-dependent response. Mass-dependent values of C max (N = 28) at 16°C ranged from 0.03 to 0.13 g·g−1·d−1. The standard metabolic rates of fish (N = 110) ranged from 0.0005 to 0.003 g·O2·g−1·d−1 and increased with increasing temperature but declined with increasing body mass. In two separate evaluation experiments, which were conducted at only one ration level (40% of estimated C max), the model predicted final weights that were, on average, within 1.2 ± 2.5% (mean ± SD) of observed values for fish ranging from 119 to 573 g and within 3.5 ± 4.9% of values for 31–65 g fish. Model-predicted consumption was within 5.5 ± 10.9% of observed values for larger fish and within 12.4 ± 16.0% for smaller fish. Our model should be useful to those dealing with issues currently faced by Bull Trout, such as climate change or alterations in prey availability.
Additional publication details
Development and evaluation of a bioenergetics model for bull trout