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Factors influencing density, distribution, and mesohabitat selection of juvenile wild salmonids and residual hatchery winter steelhead



This is the publisher’s final pdf. The published article is copyrighted by Elsevier and can be found at: To the best of our knowledge, one or more authors of this paper were federal employees when contributing to this work.To best manage Eagle Creek National Fish Hatchery, negative interactions between hatchery salmonids and Endangered Species Act listed wild salmonids in the Eagle Creek Basin need to be minimized. Our objectives were: 1) to compare summer rearing densities in two similar streams, where one stream received a release of hatchery salmonids and one stream did not receive a release of hatchery salmonids, 2) to determine if residual hatchery winter steelhead were present in the Eagle Creek Basin, and 3) if so, determine how their presence and density relates to mesohabitat selection and distribution of naturally produced salmonids. A comprehensive snorkel survey identified significantly higher densities of juvenile coho salmon rearing in North Fork Eagle Creek, compared to upper and lower Eagle Creek. We found age 0 winter steelhead in significantly higher densities in upper Eagle Creek as opposed to lower Eagle Creek and North Fork Eagle Creek. Residual hatchery steelhead were located only in Eagle Creek and were rearing in the same 15 mesohabitat units that contained the estimated majority of wild fish populations. In Eagle Creek, the probability of occurrence for all species, regardless of origin, was highest in the vicinity of the hatchery. Residual hatchery winter steelhead density indicated a negative relationship with age 0 winter steelhead density. Due to residual hatchery winter steelhead being present in only 15 sampled habitat units we recommend future sampling effort be focused in areas with known populations of residual hatchery winter steelhead to determine if a distinct relationship between these population densities exists. From these data it is unclear if residual hatchery steelhead are affecting densities, distributions, and mesohabitat selection of wild salmonids in the basin. However, while we were unable to detect any direct impacts of residual hatchery fish on the wild population, these results do suggest the potential exists for competitive ecological interactions between hatchery and wild populations

Topics: Residual steelhead, Hatchery wild interactions, Eagle Creek, Oregon
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2011.04.040
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Provided by: ScholarsArchive@OSU
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