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Is motivation important to brook trout passage through culverts?

June 1, 2017

Culverts can restrict movement of stream-dwelling fish. Motivation to enter and ascend these structures is an essential precursor for successful passage. However, motivation is challenging to quantify. Here, we use attempt rate to assess motivation of 447 brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) entering three culverts under a range of hydraulic, environmental, and biological conditions. A passive integrated transponder system allowed for the identification of passage attempts and success of individual fish. Attempt rate was quantified using time-to-event analysis allowing for time-varying covariates and recurrent events. Attempt rate was greatest during the spawning period, at elevated discharge, at dusk, and for longer fish. It decreased during the day and with increasing number of conspecifics downstream of the culvert. Results also show a positive correlation between elevated motivation and successful passage. This study enhances understanding of factors influencing brook trout motivation to ascend culverts and shows that attempt rate is a dynamic phenomenon, variable over time and among individuals. It also presents methods that could be used to investigate other species’ motivation to pass natural or anthropogenic barriers.

Publication Year 2017
Title Is motivation important to brook trout passage through culverts?
DOI 10.1139/cjfas-2016-0237
Authors Elsa Goerig, Theodore R. Castro-Santos
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Index ID 70191454
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Leetown Science Center