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Influence of seasonal extreme flows on Brook Trout recruitment

November 27, 2021

Populations of Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis exhibit large variation in annual recruitment (abundance of young of the year [age 0]), which is likely a product of density-dependent and density-independent factors. Quantifying the importance of each of these mechanisms in regulating Brook Trout recruitment would be valuable to managers that are responsible for the conservation of this iconic species throughout its native range. We analyzed a time series of age-0 and adult Brook Trout density data collected from 10 streams in the Sinnemahoning Creek watershed, north-central Pennsylvania (2010–2019), using Bayesian hierarchical modeling to partition the density-dependent effects of adult density and the density-independent effects of elevated streamflow on Brook Trout recruitment. Multiple models were examined, and the top-ranked model showed that Brook Trout recruitment followed a Ricker stock–recruitment relationship, with annual recruitment negatively influenced by maximum streamflow during the spring season (March–April). This model will be useful in predicting future variation in Brook Trout recruitment under climate change scenarios in which the frequency and intensity of high-flow events are expected to increase.

Publication Year 2022
Title Influence of seasonal extreme flows on Brook Trout recruitment
DOI 10.1002/tafs.10347
Authors John A. Sweka, Tyler Wagner
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Index ID 70229725
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Leetown