Population dynamics and evaluation of alternative management strategies for nonnative Lake Trout in Priest Lake, Idaho

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

Lake Trout Salvelinus namaycush have been introduced widely throughout the western USA to enhance recreational fisheries, but high predatory demand can create challenges for management of yield and trophy fisheries alike. Lake Trout were introduced to Priest Lake, Idaho, during the 1920s, but few fishery-independent data are available to guide current or future management actions. We collected fishery-independent data to describe population dynamics and evaluate potential management scenarios using an age-structured population model. Lake Trout in Priest Lake were characterized by fast growth at young ages, which resulted in young age at maturity. However, adult growth rates and body condition were lower than for other Lake Trout populations. High rates of skipped spawning (>50%) were also observed. Model projections indicated that the population was growing (λ = 1.03). Eradication could be achieved by increasing annual mortality to 0.32, approximately twice the current rate. A protected slot length limit could increase population length-structure, but few fish grew fast enough to exit the slot. In contrast, a juvenile removal scenario targeting age-2 to age-5 Lake Trout maintained short-term harvest of trophy-length individuals while reducing overall population abundance.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Population dynamics and evaluation of alternative management strategies for nonnative Lake Trout in Priest Lake, Idaho
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1080/02755947.2015.1111279
Volume 36
Issue 1
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher American Fisheries Society
Publisher location Bethesda, MD
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 15 p.
First page 40
Last page 54
Country United States
State Idaho
Other Geospatial Priest Lake
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