Describing population dynamics for early life stages of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) using a stock synthesis model

Authors: Martell, S.J.D.; Walters, Carl

Source: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Volume 68, Number 6, June 2011 , pp. 1110-1123(14)

Publisher: NRC Research Press

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A stock synthesis model was used to assess effects of experimental flows on early life stages of nonnative rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam (Arizona, USA). The model estimated time-varying survival rates while correcting for entry of new recruits to the age-0 population and changes in vulnerability to capture associated with growth and ontogenetic habitat shifts. A controlled flood, designed in part to enhance native fish habitat, led to an 11-fold increase in early survival rates (fertilization to ~1 month from emergence) of weekly cohorts of trout fertilized after the flood. Effects of increased flow fluctuations during incubation, designed to reduce trout abundance, were not apparent. Age-0 mortality between August and September was over twofold higher in years when there was a 50% reduction in the minimum flow compared with years when flow was stable. There was strong support for models that simulated an ontogenetic shift to deeper habitat in four of five study years. The integration of detailed field information in a stock synthesis model to describe early life history dynamics is a valuable approach that can be applied in a wide range of systems.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Fisheries Centre, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory, 2202 Main Mall, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.

Publication date: June 4, 2011

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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