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Quantifying the effectiveness of conservation measures to control the spread of anthropogenic hybridization in stream salmonids: a climate adaptation case study

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

Quantifying the effectiveness of management actions to mitigate the effects of changing climatic conditions (i.e., climate adaptation) can be difficult, yet critical for conservation. We used population genetic data from 1984 to 2011 to assess the degree to which ambient climatic conditions and targeted suppression of sources of nonnative Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss have influenced the spread of introgressive hybridization in native populations of Westslope Cutthroat Trout O. clarkii lewisi. We found rapid expansion in the spatial distribution and proportion of nonnative genetic admixture in hybridized populations from 1984 to 2004, but minimal change since 2004. The spread of hybridization was negatively correlated with the number of streamflow events in May that exceeded the 75th percentile of historic flows (r = −0.98) and positively correlated with August stream temperatures (r = 0.89). Concomitantly, suppression data showed a 60% decline in catch per unit effort for fish with a high proportion of Rainbow Trout admixture, rendering some uncertainty as to the relative strength of factors controlling the spread of hybridization. Our results illustrate the importance of initiating management actions to mitigate the potential effects of climate change, even where data describing the effectiveness of such actions are initially limited but the risks are severe.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Quantifying the effectiveness of conservation measures to control the spread of anthropogenic hybridization in stream salmonids: a climate adaptation case study
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Volume 34
Issue 3
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page 642
Last page 652
Country United States
State Montana
Other Geospatial Flathead River Basin
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N