Agonistic behavior among three stocked trout species in a novel reservoir fish community

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
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Abstract

The popularity of reservoirs to support sport fisheries has led to the stocking of species that did not co-evolve, creating novel reservoir fish communities. In Utah, the Bear Lake strain of Bonneville Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii utah and tiger trout (female Brown Trout Salmo trutta × male Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis) are being more frequently added to a traditional stocking regimen consisting primarily of Rainbow TroutO. mykiss. Interactions between these three predatory species are not well understood, and studies evaluating community interactions have raised concern for an overall decrease of trout condition. To evaluate the potential for negative interactions among these species, we tested aggression in laboratory aquaria using three-species and pairwise combinations at three densities. Treatments were replicated before and after feeding. During the three-species trials Rainbow Trout initiated 24.8 times more aggressive interactions than Cutthroat Trout and 10.2 times more aggressive interactions than tiger trout, and tiger trout exhibited slightly (1.9 times) more aggressive initiations than Cutthroat Trout. There was no significant difference in behavior before versus after feeding for any species, and no indication of increased aggression at higher densities. Although Rainbow Trout in aquaria may benefit from their bold, aggressive behavior, given observations of decreased relative survival in the field, these benefits may be outweighed in reservoirs, possibly through unnecessary energy expenditure and exposure to predators.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Agonistic behavior among three stocked trout species in a novel reservoir fish community
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1080/02755947.2015.1017126
Volume 35
Issue 3
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 6 p.
First page 551
Last page 556
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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