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Residence time and drift patterns of larval June sucker Chasmistes liorus in the lower Provo River as determined by otolith microstructure

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Estimates of age derived from daily ring counts from otoliths and capture rates of larval June sucker Chasmistes liorus were used to determine the relationship between discharge rates of the Provo River and residence time and patterns of larval drift. During 1997, larval drift occurred over a 22 day period when discharge rates were low (mean ±s.d.3·2 ± 0·0 m3 s−1). In 1998, larval drift occurred in two separate events over a 40 day period. Discharge was higher during the first larval drift period (19 days; 24·8 ± 1·3 m3 s−1) and lower during the second larval drift period (17 days; 7·0 ± 0·9 m3 s−1). In 1997, no larval fish were collected at the lowermost transect on the Provo River (nearest Utah Lake), and few larvae >21 days of age were found. During the first drift period of 1998, larval C. liorus were collected at all transects, and mean age of larvae collected between upstream and downstream transects increased by c. 7 days. During the second drift period of 1998, only a few were collected in the lowermost transects, and age did not increase with proximity to the lake. Patterns in catch and age distribution of larval C. liorus in the lower Provo River suggest that recruitment failure occurs during the larval drift period in years with insufficient discharge to transport larvae into the lake.

Keywords: daily rings; endangered species; lakesucker; larval drift; mortality; recruitment

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Brigham Young University, Department of Biology, Provo, UT 84602, U.S.A. 2: Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife Resources, Salt Lake City, UT 84114, U.S.A.

Publication date: August 1, 2010


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