Spawning and rearing behavior of bull trout in a headwaterlake ecosystem

Environmental Biology of Fishes
By: , and 

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Abstract

Numerous life histories have been documented for bull trout Salvelinus confluentus. Lacustrine-adfluvial bull trout populations that occupy small, headwater lake ecosystems and migrate short distances to natal tributaries to spawn are likely common; however, much of the research on potamodromous bull trout has focused on describing the spawning and rearing characteristics of bull trout populations that occupy large rivers and lakes and make long distance spawning migrations to natal headwater streams. This study describes the spawning and rearing characteristics of lacustrine-adfluvial bull trout in the Quartz Lake drainage, Glacier National Park, USA, a small headwater lake ecosystem. Many spawning and rearing characteristics of bull trout in the Quartz Lake drainage are similar to potamodromous bull trout that migrate long distances. For example, subadult bull trout distribution was positively associated with slow-water habitat unit types and maximum wetted width, and negatively associated with increased stream gradient. Bull trout spawning also occurred when water temperatures were between 5 and 9 °C, and redds were generally located in stream segments with low stream gradient and abundant gravel and cobble substrates. However, this study also elucidated characteristics of bull trout biology that are not well documented in the literature, but may be relatively widespread and have important implications regarding general characteristics of bull trout ecology, use of available habitat by bull trout, and persistence of lacustrine-adfluvial bull trout in small headwater lake ecosystems.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Spawning and rearing behavior of bull trout in a headwaterlake ecosystem
Series title Environmental Biology of Fishes
DOI 10.1007/s10641-015-0461-x
Volume 99
Issue 1
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 15 p.
First page 117
Last page 131
Country United States
State Montana
Other Geospatial Quartz Lake drainage
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N