Impeding access to tributary spawning habitat and releasing experimental fall-timed floods increases brown trout immigration into a dam's tailwater
November 30, 2022
River ecosystems have been altered by flow regulation and species introductions. Regulated flow regimes often include releases designed to benefit certain species or restore ecosystem processes, and invasive species suppression programs may include efforts to restrict access to spawning habitat. The impacts of these management interventions are often uncertain. Here, we assess hypotheses regarding introduced brown trout (Salmo trutta) movement in a regulated river. We model mark-recapture data in a multistate framework to assess whether movement was affected by the operation of a tributary weir (restricting access to spawning habitat), experimental releases of fall-timed High Flow Experiments (Fall HFEs), or simply increased during the fall, spawning season. Our results suggest that the presence of the weir led to reduced tributary homing and the release of Fall HFEs stimulated upstream movement and straying. Both effects are of a similar magnitude, however the fall HFE effect is more certain. Our results suggest the expansion of an invasive species was stimulated by management interventions, and demonstrate the potential for unanticipated outcomes of restoration in highly altered river ecosystems.
|Impeding access to tributary spawning habitat and releasing experimental fall-timed floods increases brown trout immigration into a dam's tailwater
|Brian D. Healy, Charles Yackulic, Robert C. Schelly
|Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Southwest Biological Science Center