Fall and winter habitat use and movement by Columbia River redband trout in a small stream in Montana

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By: , and 



We used radiotelemetry to quantify the movements and habitat use of resident adult Columbia River redband trout Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri (hereafter, redband trout) from October to December 1997 in South Fork Callahan Creek, a third-order tributary to Callahan Creek in the Kootenai River drainage in northwestern Montana. All redband trout (N = 23) were consistently relocated in a stream reach with moderate gradient (2.3%) near the site of original capture. Some fish (N = 13) displayed sedentary behavior, whereas others were mobile (N = 10). The mean total distance moved during the study for all fish combined was 64 m (SD = 105 m; range, 0–362 m), and the mean home range from October through December was 67 m (SD = 99 m; range, 5–377 m). Thirteen redband trout made short upstream and downstream movements (mean total movement = 134 m; range, 8–362 m) that were related to habitat use. Mobile fish commonly migrated to complex pools that spanned the entire channel width (primary pools). Eight of 10 fish that did not change habitat location occupied primary pools, whereas the remaining 2 fish occupied lateral pools. Fish commonly overwintered in primary pools dominated by cobble and boulder substrates that contained large woody debris. As water temperatures decreased from 3.2–6.3°C in October to 0–3.8°C in November and December, we found a 29% average increase (46–75%) in the proportional use of primary pool habitats. The lack of extensive movement and small home ranges indicate that adult redband trout found suitable overwintering habitat in deep pools with extensive amounts of cover within a third-order mountain stream. Resource managers who wish to protect overwintering habitat features preferred by redband trout throughout their limited range in streams affected by land management practices could apply strategies that protect and enhance pool habitat and stream complexity.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Fall and winter habitat use and movement by Columbia River redband trout in a small stream in Montana
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1577/1548-8675(2001)021<0170:FAWHUA>2.0.CO;2
Volume 21
Issue 1
Year Published 2001
Language English
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 8 p.
First page 170
Last page 177
Country United States
State Montana
Other Geospatial Callahan Creek, Kootnai River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional metadata about this publication, not found in other parts of the page is in this table