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Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) suppression for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) recovery in Flathead Lake, Montana, North America

Hydrobiologia

By:
ORCID iD , , and ORCID iD
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-016-2703-0

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Abstract

Non-native lake trout Salvelinus namaycush displaced native bull trout Salvelinus confluentus in Flathead Lake, Montana, USA, after 1984, when Mysis diluviana became abundant following its introduction in upstream lakes in 1968–1976. We developed a simulation model to determine the fishing mortality rate on lake trout that would enable bull trout recovery. Model simulations indicated that suppression of adult lake trout by 75% from current abundance would reduce predation on bull trout by 90%. Current removals of lake trout through incentivized fishing contests has not been sufficient to suppress lake trout abundance estimated by mark-recapture or indexed by stratified-random gill netting. In contrast, size structure, body condition, mortality, and maturity are changing consistent with a density-dependent reduction in lake trout abundance. Population modeling indicated total fishing effort would need to increase 3-fold to reduce adult lake trout population density by 75%. We conclude that increased fishing effort would suppress lake trout population density and predation on juvenile bull trout, and thereby enable higher abundance of adult bull trout in Flathead Lake and its tributaries.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) suppression for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) recovery in Flathead Lake, Montana, North America
Series title:
Hydrobiologia
DOI:
10.1007/s10750-016-2703-0
Volume:
783
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2016
Language:
English
Publisher:
Springer International Publishing
Contributing office(s):
Great Lakes Science Center
Description:
18 p.
First page:
317
Last page:
334
Country:
United States
State:
Montana
Other Geospatial:
Flathead Lake
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N