Fall and winter survival of brook trout and brown trout in a north-central Pennsylvania watershed

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Stream-dwelling salmonids that spawn in the fall generally experience their lowest survival during the fall and winter due to behavioral changes associated with spawning and energetic deficiencies during this time of year. We used data from Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis and Brown Trout Salmo trutta implanted with radio transmitters in tributaries of the Hunts Run watershed of north-central Pennsylvania to estimate survival from the fall into the winter seasons (September 2012–February 2013). We examined the effects that individual-level covariates (trout species, size, and movement rates) and stream-level covariates (individual stream and cumulative drainage area of a stream) have on survival. Brook Trout experienced significantly lower survival than Brown Trout, especially in the early fall during their peak spawning period. Besides a significant species effect, none of the other covariates examined influenced survival for either species. A difference in life history between these species, with Brook Trout having a shorter life expectancy than Brown Trout, is likely the primary reason for the lower survival of Brook Trout. However, Brook Trout also spawn earlier in the fall than Brown Trout and low flows during Brook Trout spawning may have resulted in a greater risk of predation for Brook Trout compared with Brown Trout, thereby also contributing to the observed differences in survival between these species. Our estimates of survival can aid parameterization of future population models for Brook Trout and Brown Trout through the spawning season and into winter.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Fall and winter survival of brook trout and brown trout in a north-central Pennsylvania watershed
Series title Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
DOI 10.1080/00028487.2017.1305987
Volume 146
Issue 4
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description 9 p.
First page 744
Last page 752
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
Other Geospatial Hunts Run watershed