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Could ecological release buffer suppression efforts for non-native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park?

January 22, 2021

Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park, USA, has the longest ongoing suppression program for non-native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in the western USA. Harvest data from the suppression program, along with data from an assessment program initiated in 2011, was used to estimate lake trout abundance and mortality rates. Abundance and biomass estimates were used to estimate stock–recruitment dynamics, which were inputs to a simulation model forecasting responses to continued suppression. Abundance increased during 1998–2012 when total annual mortality exceeded 0.59 and declined thereafter. The fishing mortality rate required to reduce abundance was 67% greater than predicted by models that used prerecruit survival estimates from the lake trout’s native range. Prerecruit survival in Yellowstone Lake was estimated at four to six times greater than native range survival rates. Simulated abundance continued to decline if recent suppression efforts were maintained. High prerecruit survival in Yellowstone Lake likely illustrates ecological release for an invasive species in an ecosystem containing few predators or competitors and demonstrates the potential pitfalls of assuming equal demographic rates for native and non-native populations.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title Could ecological release buffer suppression efforts for non-native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park?
DOI 10.1139/cjfas-2019-0306
Authors John M. Syslo, Travis O. Brenden, Christopher S. Guy, Todd M . Koel, Patricia E. Bigelow, Philip D . Doepke, Jeffrey L. Arnold, Brian D. Ertel
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Series Number
Index ID 70228526
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle

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