Evaluating the linkages between regional climate patterns, local climate data, and native Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri) and non-native brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) growth, survival, and life-history expressions.

Science Center Objects

Beyond large-scale climate models, it is becoming increasingly important to quantify how regional climate patterns link with in situ stream temperatures and hydrologic regimes and concomitantly, fish behavior, growth, and survival. Here, we are using comprehensive mark-recapture techniques to evaluate how changing climatic conditions are likely to influence native westslope cutthroat trout and non-native brook trout. We are collecting empirical temperature climate data to develop local models describing stream temperature and streamflows in headwater streams in Spread Creek, a Tributary to the Upper Snake River, WY. Within this framework, we are also quantifying differences in stream productivity to ultimately quantify the relative importance of stream temperatures, streamflow, and available food resources on cold-water fishes. Our results will aid managers in better understanding how climate is likely to influence fish populations in the Greater Yellowstone, and help prioritize climate adaptation strategies. Further, this project has an important outreach component working with students from Jackson Hole Public School system to involve students in natural resources.