Diet, feeding patterns, and prey selection of subyearling Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and subyearling chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in a tributary of Lake Ontario

Journal of Applied Ichthyology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Since juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) occupy a similar habitat in Lake Ontario tributaries, we sought to determine the degree of diet similarity between these species in order to assess the potential for interspecific competition. Atlantic salmon, an historically important but currently extirpated component of the Lake Ontario fish community, are the focus of a bi-national restoration effort. Presently this effort includes the release of hatchery produced juvenile Atlantic salmon in Lake Ontario tributaries. These same tributaries support substantial numbers of naturally reproduced juvenile Pacific salmonids including Chinook salmon. Subyearling Atlantic salmon and subyearling Chinook salmon had significantly different diets during each of the three time periods examined. Atlantic salmon fed slightly more from the benthos than from the drift and consumed mainly chirononmids (47.0%) and ephemeropterans (21.1%). The diet of subyearling Chinook salmon was more closely associated with the drift and consisted mainly of chironomids (60.2%) and terrestrial invertebrates (16.0%). Low diet similarity between subyearling Atlantic salmon and subyearling Chinook salmon likely minimizes competitive interactions for food between these species in Lake Ontario tributaries. However, the availability of small prey such as chironomids which comprise over 50% of the diet of each species, soon after emergence, could constitute a short term resource limitation. To our knowledge this is the first study of interspecific diet associations between these two important salmonid species.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Diet, feeding patterns, and prey selection of subyearling Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and subyearling chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in a tributary of Lake Ontario
Series title Journal of Applied Ichthyology
DOI 10.1111/jai.13335
Volume 33
Issue 3
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 502
Last page 508
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