Does release size into net-pens affect survival of captively reared juvenile endangered suckers in Upper Klamath Lake?
High juvenile mortality prevents recruitment into the adult populations of endangered Shortnose Sucker Chasmistes brevirostris and Lost River Sucker Deltistes luxatus in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon. To address the lack of recruitment, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service implemented the Sucker Assisted Rearing Program (SARP). Managers developing the rearing program lack information about how length at release relates to survival. To determine how initial length affects survival of captively reared juvenile suckers, we introduced juvenile suckers from the SARP into three net-pens in Upper Klamath Lake.
The juvenile suckers ranged from 102 to 284 mm standard length, and each fish was tagged with a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag. Fish were monitored continuously by PIT antennas and mortality was inferred when movements ceased.
Estimated survival over 57 days was high in all net-pens (0.79–1.00) and remained high at two net-pens for 76 and 86 days. Adjusted survival curves resulting from a stratified Cox model with standard length as a covariate, indicated that length positively influenced predicted survival by as much as 41% at one site. During the study, pH and dissolved oxygen regularly exceeded no-effect thresholds at two sites and briefly reached lethal thresholds at the same two sites but did not coincide with the observed mortalities. Slower growth and the lowest survival were observed at the third site, where water quality never exceeded thresholds.
A larger release size and the location of the net-pen can improve the survivability of juvenile suckers in net-pens in Upper Klamath Lake.
|Does release size into net-pens affect survival of captively reared juvenile endangered suckers in Upper Klamath Lake?
|John Michael Caldwell, Summer M. Burdick, Jacob Richard Krause, Alta C. Harris
|North American Journal of Fisheries Management
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Western Fisheries Research Center