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File Estimating size-specific brook trout abundance in continuously sampled headwater streams using Bayesian mixed models with zero inflation and overdispersion
We examined habitat factors related to reach-scale brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis counts of four size classes in two headwater stream networks within two contrasting summers in Connecticut, USA. Two study stream networks (7.7 and 4.4 km) were surveyed in a spatially continuous manner in their entirety, and a set of Bayesian generalised linear mixed models was compared. Trout abundance was best described by a zero-inflated overdispersed Poisson model. The effect of habitat covariates was not always consistent among size classes and years. There were nonlinear relationships between trout counts and stream temperature in both years. Colder reaches harboured higher trout counts in the warmer summer of 2008, but this pattern was not observed in the cooler and very wet summer of 2009. Amount of pool habitat was nearly consistently important across size classes and years, and counts of the largest size class were correlated positively with maximum depth and negatively with stream gradient. Spatial mapping of trout distributions showed that reaches with high trout counts may differ among size classes, particularly between the smallest and largest size classes, suggesting that movement may allow the largest trout to exploit spatially patchy habitats in these small headwaters.
Located in Science and Data / Brook Trout Related Publications
File ECMAScript program Predicting Brook Trout Occurrence in Stream Reaches throughout their Native Range in the Eastern United States
The Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis is an important species of conservation concern in the eastern USA. We developed a model to predict Brook Trout population status within individual stream reaches throughout the species’ native range in the eastern USA. We utilized hierarchical logistic regression with Bayesian estimation to predict Brook Trout occurrence probability, and we allowed slopes and intercepts to vary among ecological drainage units (EDUs). Model performance was similar for 7,327 training samples and 1,832 validation samples based on the area under the receiver operating curve (»0.78) and Cohen’s kappa statistic (0.44). Predicted water temperature had a strong negative effect on Brook Trout occurrence probability at the stream reach scale and was also negatively associated with the EDU average probability of Brook Trout occurrence (i.e., EDU-specific intercepts). The effect of soil permeability was positive but decreased as EDU mean soil permeability increased. Brook Trout were less likely to occur in stream reaches surrounded by agricultural or developed land cover, and an interaction suggested that agricultural land cover also resulted in an increased sensitivity to water temperature. Our model provides a further understanding of how Brook Trout are shaped by habitat characteristics in the region and yields maps of stream-reach-scale predictions, which together can be used to support ongoing conservation and management efforts. These decision support tools can be used to identify the extent of potentially suitable habitat, estimate historic habitat losses, and prioritize conservation efforts by selecting suitable stream reaches for a given action. Future work could extend the model to account for additional landscape or habitat characteristics, include biotic interactions, or estimate potential Brook Trout responses to climate and land use changes.
Located in Science and Data / Brook Trout Related Publications
File The Importance of Scale: Assessing and Predicting Brook Trout Status in its Southern Native Range
Occupancy models are of increasing interest to managers and natural resource decision makers. Assessment of status and trends, as well as the specific drivers influencing occupancy, both may change as a function of scale, and analyses conducted at multiple scales can help identify important mechanisms leading to changes in distributions. We analyzed extensive fine-scale occupancy data across the southern historic range of the brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis to determine which landscape metrics and thresholds were useful in predicting brook trout presence across three relevant spatial scales and how brook trout occupancy varied by scale. Percentage occupancy declined markedly with increased spatial resolution, as 52% of watersheds (HUC10) but only 32% of subwatersheds (HUC12) and 14% of catchments (HUC14) were occupied. Across all three scales, habitats which were exclusively occupied by native brook trout (without non-native trout) were rare (<10%). CART models using GIS-derived landscape predictor variables were developed for three classification cases: Case 1:(brook trout; no brook trout), Case 2 (brook trout; non-native trout only; no trout), and Case 3 (brook trout only; brook and non-native trout; non-native trout only and no trout). Model results were sensitive to both scale and the number of classification categories with respect to classification accuracy, variable selection and variable threshold values. Classification accuracy tended to be lowest at the finest (catchment) scale potentially reflecting stochastic population processes and barriers to movement. Classification rates for the overall models were: Case 1: Watershed (80.19%); Subwatershed (85.06%); Catchment (71.13%); Case 2: Watershed (69.31%); Subwatershed (68.72%); Catchment (57.38%); Case 3: Watershed (58.91%); Subwatershed (59.83%); Catchment (47.59%). Our multiscale approach revealed soil permeability (positive) and atmospheric pollution (negative) to be important predictors. The predicted occupancy and observed status of brook trout appear to be influenced by the scale the data are collected and reported.
Located in Science and Data / Brook Trout Related Publications
File Dynamics and regulation of the southern brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) population in an Appalachian stream
1. We used information theoretic statistics [Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC)] and regression analysis in a multiple hypothesis testing approach to assess the processes capable of explaining long-term demographic variation in a lightly exploited brook trout population in Ball Creek, NC. We sampled a 100-m-long second-order site during both spring and autumn 1991–2004, using three-pass electrofishing. 2. Principle component analysis indicated that the site had lower average velocity, greater amounts of depositional substrata and lower amount of erosional substrata during the 1999–2002 drought than in non-drought years. In addition, drought years had lower flows, and lower variation in flows, than non-drought years. 3. Both young-of-the-year (YOY) and adult densities varied by an order of magnitude during the study. AIC analysis conducted on regressions of per capita rate of increase versus various population and habitat parameters for the population, adults and YOY, for both spring and autumn data sets, indicated that simple density dependence almost always was the only interpretable model with Akaike weights (wi) ranging from 0.262 to 0.836. 4. Growth analyses yielded more variable results, with simple density dependence being the only interpretable model for both adult spring data (wi = 0.999) and YOY autumn data (wi = 0.905), and positive density dependence (wi = 0.636) and simple density independence (wi = 0.241) representing interpretable models for spring YOY data. 5. We detected a significant stock–recruitment relationship between both spring and autumn densities of adults in year t and autumn YOY density in year t + 1. Finally, spring YOY density was positively correlated with both autumn YOY density and spring mean YOY standard length (SL), suggesting that processes affecting recruitment show residual effects at least in the first year of life. This population appears to be regulated primarily by density dependent processes, although high flows also negatively affected mean SLs of YOY.
Located in Science and Data / Brook Trout Related Publications
File Population Response to Habitat Fragmentation in a Stream-Dwelling Brook Trout Population
Fragmentation can strongly influence population persistence and expression of life-history strategies in spatially-structured populations. In this study, we directly estimated size-specific dispersal, growth, and survival of stream-dwelling brook trout in a stream network with connected and naturally-isolated tributaries. We used multiple-generation, individual-based data to develop and parameterize a size-class and location-based population projection model, allowing us to test effects of fragmentation on population dynamics at local (i.e., subpopulation) and system-wide (i.e., metapopulation) scales, and to identify demographic rates which influence the persistence of isolated and fragmented populations. In the naturally-isolated tributary, persistence was associated with higher early juvenile survival (,45% greater), shorter generation time (one-half) and strong selection against large body size compared to the open system, resulting in a stage-distribution skewed towards younger, smaller fish. Simulating barriers to upstream migration into two currently-connected tributary populations caused rapid (2–6 generations) local extinction. These local extinctions in turn increased the likelihood of system-wide extinction, as tributaries could no longer function as population sources. Extinction could be prevented in the open system if sufficient immigrants from downstream areas were available, but the influx of individuals necessary to counteract fragmentation effects was high (7–46% of the total population annually). In the absence of sufficient immigration, a demographic change (higher early survival characteristic of the isolated tributary) was also sufficient to rescue the population from fragmentation, suggesting that the observed differences in size distributions between the naturally-isolated and open system may reflect an evolutionary response to isolation. Combined with strong genetic divergence between the isolated tributary and open system, these results suggest that local adaptation can ‘rescue’ isolated populations, particularly in one-dimensional stream networks where both natural and anthropogenically-mediated isolation is common. However, whether rescue will occur before extinction depends critically on the race between adaptation and reduced survival in response to fragmentation.
Located in Science and Data / Brook Trout Related Publications
File Population regulation of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in Hunt Creek, Michigan: a 50-year study
1. Fisheries models generally are based on the concept that strong density dependence exists in fish populations. Nonetheless, there are few examples of long-term density dependence in fish populations. 2. Using an information theoretical approach (AIC) with regression analyses, we examined the explanatory power of density dependence, flow and water temperature on the per capita rate of change and growth (annual mean total length) for the whole population, adults, 1+ and young-of-the-year (YOY) brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in Hunt Creek, Michigan, USA, between 1951 and 2001. This time series represents one of the longest quantitative population data sets for fishes. 3. Our analysis included four data sets: (i) Pooled (1951–2001), (ii) Fished (1951–65), (iii) Unfished (1966–2001) and (iv) Temperature (1982–2001). 4. Principle component analyses of winter flow data identified a gradient between years with high mean daily winter flows, high daily maximum and minimum flows and frequent high flow events, and years with an opposite set of flow characteristics. Flows were lower during the Fished Period than during the Unfished Period. Winter temperature analyses elucidated a gradient between warm mean, warm minimum and maximum daily stream temperatures and a high number of minimum daily temperatures >6.1 C, and years with the opposite characteristics. Summer temperature analyses contrasted years with warm summer stream temperatures vs years with cool summer stream temperatures. 5. Both YOY and adult densities varied several-fold during the study. Regression analysis did not detect a significant linear or nonlinear stock–recruitment relationship. AIC analysis indicated that density dependence was present in 15 of 16 cases (four population segments · four data sets) for both per capita rate of increase (wi values 0.46–1.00) and growth data (wi values 0.28–0.99). The almost ubiquitous presence of density dependence in both population and growth data is concordant with results from other trout populations and other studies in Michigan.
Located in Science and Data / Brook Trout Related Publications
File application/x-troff-ms What predicts the use by brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) of terrestrial invertebrate subsidies in headwater streams?
1. Spatial subsidies are important resources for organisms in receiving habitats, particularly when production in those habitats is low. Terrestrial invertebrates provide a critical subsidy for trout, including eastern brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), but we have limited understanding of what causes input and use of these subsidies to vary among streams. 2. We predicted that forest successional stage would be an especially important driver of variation in terrestrial invertebrate subsidies to brook trout in headwater streams due to differences in terrestrial invertebrate biomass in early and late successional habitats. Specifically, we expected biomass of aerial invertebrates, those capable of dispersal to the stream, to be greater in early successional habitat than late successional habitat due to the nutrient-rich, herbaceous vegetation typical of early successional habitat. 3. We measured aerial terrestrial invertebrate biomass in early and late successional habitats, input to streams and use by resident brook trout in 12 first- and second-order catchments in northern New Hampshire, U.S.A. The study catchments represented a range of early successional habitat coverage (0–51.5%). We also measured a suite of reach-scale variables that might influence terrestrial invertebrate input and use by brook trout, including riparian forest conditions and benthic invertebrate biomass. 4. Within study catchments, aerial terrestrial invertebrate biomass and abundance were significantly higher in early successional habitats than late successional habitats. However, terrestrial invertebrate input to streams and use by brook trout were unrelated to per cent early successional habitat in the catchment, and to other catchment and riparian forest characteristics. These results indicate that the management for upland early successional habitat has little effect on terrestrial invertebrate subsidies to headwater streams and fish. 5. Surprisingly, benthic invertebrate biomass was the one significant predictor of per cent terrestrial invertebrates in brook trout diets. Use of terrestrial invertebrate subsidies declined with increasing benthic invertebrate biomass, suggesting that productivity in the aquatic environment influences the degree to which brook trout use terrestrial subsidies. Although subsidy inputs are controlled by the donor system, this study shows that use of these subsidies by consumers can be determined by conditions in the recipient habitat.
Located in Science and Data / Brook Trout Related Publications
File Troff document Geomorphic, Flood, and Groundwater-Flow Characteristics of Bayfield Peninsula Streams, Wisconsin, and Implications for Brook-Trout Habitat
In 2002–03, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a study of the geomorphic, flood, and groundwater-flow characteristics of five Bayfield Peninsula streams, Wisconsin (Cranberry River, Bark River, Raspberry River, Sioux River, and Whittlesey Creek) to determine the physical limitations for brook-trout habitat. The goals of the study were threefold: (1) to describe geomorphic characteristics and processes, (2) to determine how land-cover characteristics affect flood peaks, and (3) to determine how regional groundwater flow patterns affect base flow. The geomorphic characterization consisted of analyses of historical aerial photographs and General Land Office Survey notes, observations from helicopter video footage, surveys of valley cross sections, and coring. Sources of sediment were identified from the helicopter video and field surveys, and past erosion-control techniques were evaluated. Geomorphic processes, such as runoff sediment erosion, transport, and deposition, are driven by channel location within the drainage network, texture of glacial deposits, and proximity to postglacial lake shorelines; these processes have historically increased because of decreases in upland forest cover and channel roughness. Sources of sediment for all studied streams mainly came from bank, terrace, or bluff erosion along main stem reaches and along feeder tributaries that bisect main-stem entrenched valley sides. Bluff, terrace, and bank erosion were the major sources of sediment to Whittlesey Creek and the Sioux River. No active bluff erosion was observed on the Cranberry River or the Bark River but anecdotal information suggests that landslides occasionally happen on the Cranberry River. For the Bark River, sources of sediment were somewhat evenly divided among road crossings (bridges, culverts, and unimproved forest lanes), terrace erosion, bank erosion, and incision along upper main stems and feeder channels along valley sides. Evaluation of past erosion-control techniques indicated that bluffs were stabilized by a combination of artificial hardening and bioengineering of the bluff base and reducing mass wasting of the tops of the bluffs. Flood hydrographs for the Cranberry River were simulated for four land-cover scenarios—late 20th century (1992–93), presettlement (before 1870), peak agriculture (1928), and developed (25 percent urban). Results were compared to previous simulations of flood peaks for Whittlesey Creek and for North Fish Creek (southern adjacent basin to Whittlesey Creek). Even though most uplands are presently forested, flood peaks simulated for 1992–93 were 1.5 to 2 times larger than presettlement flood peaks. The increased flood peaks caused (1) increased incision along upper main stems and tributaries that bisect entrenched valley sides, (2) bluff and terrace erosion along reaches with entrenched valleys, (3) overbank deposition and bar formation in middle and lower main stems, and (4) aggradation in mouth areas. A base-flow survey was conducted and a groundwater-flow model was developed for the Bayfield Peninsula to delineate groundwater contributing areas. A deep aquifer system, which includes thick deposits of sand and the upper part of the bedrock, is recharged through the permeable sands in the center of the peninsula. Base flow is unevenly distributed among the Bayfield streams and depends on the amount of channel incision and the proximity of the channels to the recharge area and coarse outwash deposits. Groundwater contributing areas for the five streams do not coincide with surface-water-contributing areas. About 89 percent of total recharge to the deep aquifer system discharges to Bayfield streams; the remaining 11 percent directly discharges to Lake Superior. Historical land-cover changes have had negligible effects on groundwater-flow from the deep aquifer system. Available brook-trout habitat is dependent on the locations of groundwater upwellings, the sizes of flood peaks, and sediment loads. Management practices that focus on reducing or slowing runoff from upland areas and increasing channel roughness have potential to reduce flood peaks, erosion, and sedimentation and improve brook-trout habitat in all Bayfield Peninsula streams.
Located in Science and Data / Brook Trout Related Publications
File Acid Mine Drainage and Effects on Fish Health and Ecology: A Review
Acid rock drainage (ARD) is produced by the oxidation of sulfide minerals, chiefly iron pyrite or iron disulfide (FeS2). This is a natural chemical reaction which can proceed when minerals are exposed to air and water. Acidic drainage is found around the world both as a result of naturally occurring processes and activities associated with land disturbances, such as highway construction and mining where acid-forming minerals are exposed at the surface of the earth. These acidic conditions can cause metals in geologic materials to dissolve, which can lead to impairment of water quality when acidic and used by terrestrial or aquatic organisms. metal laden discharges enter waters.
Located in Science and Data / Brook Trout Related Publications
File Response of fish assemblages to declining acidic deposition in Adirondack Mountain lakes, 1984-2012
Adverse effects of acidic deposition on the chemistry and fish communities were evident in Adirondack Mountain lakes during the 1980s and 1990s. Fish assemblages and water chemistry in 43 Adirondack Long-Term Monitoring (ALTM) lakes were sampled by the Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation during three periods (1984-87, 1994-2005, and 2008-12) to document regional impacts and potential biological recovery associated with the 1990 amendments to the 1963 Clean Air Act (CAA). We assessed standardized data from 43 lakes sampled during the three periods to quantify the response of fish-community richness, total fish abundance, and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) abundance to declining acidity that resulted from changes in U.S. airquality management between 1984 and 2012. During the 28-year period, mean acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) increased significantly from 3 to 30 meq/L and mean inorganic monomeric Al concentrations decreased significantly from 2.22 to 0.66 mmol/L, yet mean species richness, all species or total catch per net night (CPNN), and brook trout CPNN did not change significantly in the 43 lakes. Regression analyses indicate that fishery metrics were not directly related to the degree of chemical recovery and that brook trout CPNN may actually have declined with increasing ANC. While the richness of fish communities increased with increasing ANC as anticipated in several Adirondack lakes, observed improvements in water quality associated with the CAA have generally failed to produce detectable shifts in fish assemblages within a large number of ALTM lakes. Additional time may simply be needed for biological recovery to progress, or else more proactive efforts may be necessary to restore natural fish assemblages in Adirondack lakes in which water chemistry is steadily recovering from acidification.
Located in Science and Data / Brook Trout Related Publications