We monitored bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in 2008 and 2009 as a continuation of our work in 2006 and 2007, which involved the tagging of 1,536 bull trout with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags in the East Fork Jarbidge River and West Fork Jarbidge River and their tributaries in northeastern Nevada and southern Idaho. We installed PIT tag interrogation systems (PTISs) at established locations soon after ice-out, and maintained the PTISs in order to collect information on bull trout movements through December of each year. We observed a marked increase of movement in 2008 and 2009. Bull trout tagged in the uppermost portions of the East Fork Jarbidge River at altitudes greater than 2,100 meters moved to the confluence of the East Fork Jarbidge River and West Fork Jarbidge River in summer and autumn. Ten bull trout tagged upstream of the confluence of Pine Creek and the West Fork Jarbidge River moved downstream and then upstream in the East Fork Jarbidge River, and then past the PTIS at Murphy Hot Springs (river kilometer [rkm] 4.1). Two of these fish ascended Dave Creek, a tributary of the East Fork Jarbidge River, past the PTIS at rkm 0.4. One bull trout that was tagged at rkm 11 in Dave Creek on June 28, 2007 moved downstream to the confluence of the East Fork Jarbidge River and West Fork Jarbidge River (rkm 0) on July 28, 2007, and it was then detected in the West Fork Jarbidge River moving past our PTIS at rkm 15 on May 4, 2008. Combined, the extent and types of bull trout movements observed indicated that the primarily age-1 and age-2 bull trout that we tagged in 2006 and 2007 showed increased movement with age and evidence of a substantial amount of fluvial life history. The movements suggest strong connectivity between spawning areas and downstream mainstem areas, as well as between the East Fork Jarbidge River and West Fork Jarbidge River.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Movement of bull trout in the upper Jarbidge River watershed, Idaho and Nevada, 2008-09--A supplement to Open-File Report 2010-1033