Estimating ages of Utah chubs by use of pectoral fin rays, otoliths, and scales

Western North American Naturalist
By: , and 



Utah chub Gila atraria is native to the Upper Snake River system in Wyoming and Idaho and to the Lake Bonneville Basin in Utah and southeastern Idaho. However, the Utah chub has been introduced into many other waterbodies in the western United States, where it competes with ecologically and economically important species. The objectives of this study were to evaluate between-reader precision and reader confidence in age estimates obtained from pectoral fin rays, lapilli (otoliths), asterisci (otoliths), and scales for Utah chubs collected from Henrys Lake, Idaho. Lapilli have been previously shown to provide accurate age estimates for Utah chubs; therefore, we sought to compare age estimates from fin rays, asterisci, and scales to those from lapilli. The between-reader coefficient of variation (CV) in age estimates was lowest and the percent of exact reader agreement (PA-0) was highest for pectoral fin rays (CV = 4.7, PA-0 = 74%), followed by scales (CV = 10.3, PA-0 = 52.3%), lapilli (CV = 11.6, PA-0 = 48.2%), and asterisci (CV = 13.0, PA-0 = 41.7%). Consensus age estimates from pectoral fin rays showed high concordance with consensus age estimates from lapilli. Our results indicate that pectoral fin rays provide the most precise age estimates for Utah chub. Pectoral fin rays are easily collected and processed and also provide age estimates without requiring fish sacrifice.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Estimating ages of Utah chubs by use of pectoral fin rays, otoliths, and scales
Series title Western North American Naturalist
DOI 10.3398/064.077.0206
Volume 77
Issue 2
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum, Brigham Young University
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 6 p.
First page 189
Last page 194
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