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Simulated effects of YY-male stocking and manual suppression for eradicating nonnative Brook Trout populations

August 29, 2017

Eradication of nonnative Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis populations is difficult to achieve with standard techniques, such as electrofishing removal or piscicides; new approaches are needed. A novel concept is to stock “supermale” hatchery fish with wild conspecifics. Supermales (MYY) have two Y-chromosomes, resulting in offspring that are all males; over time, successful supermale reproduction could eradicate the wild population. We constructed an age-structured stochastic model to investigate the effects of manually suppressing wild fish and stocking MYY fingerlings on the long-term viability of hypothetical nonnative Brook Trout populations. In streams, an annual stocking rate of supermales equivalent to 50% of wild age-0 Brook Trout density combined with an annual selective suppression rate equivalent to 50% of wild Brook Trout density resulted in a time to extirpation of only 2–4 years if supermale fitness was equivalent to wild male fitness. However, time to extirpation in streams was 5–15 years if supermale fitness was 80% lower than wild male fitness. In alpine lakes, higher supermale stocking rates and nonselective gillnetting were required to eradicate Brook Trout populations. If supermales were assumed to be as fit as wild males, however, any supermale stocking rate greater than 49% in alpine lakes or 60% in streams achieved eradication in 10 years or less, regardless of the suppression rate. Because manual suppression and the stocking of MYY fingerlings can readily be conducted at the levels assumed in our simulations, use of such an integrated pest management (IPM) approach could extirpate undesirable Brook Trout populations within reasonably short periods of time. Given the recent successful development of an MYY Brook Trout broodstock capable of producing large numbers of MYY fingerlings and given the positive results of the present simulations for both streams and alpine lakes, field testing of MYY stocking is warranted within an IPM program that includes manual suppression for eradicating undesirable Brook Trout populations.

Publication Year 2017
Title Simulated effects of YY-male stocking and manual suppression for eradicating nonnative Brook Trout populations
DOI 10.1080/02755947.2017.1342720
Authors Daniel J. Schill, Kevin A. Meyer, Michael J. Hansen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
Index ID 70190340
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center