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Understanding life history and ecology to support the management and conservation of migratory brook trout in Lake Superior

This project will improve our understanding of the life history and   ecology of stream and lake (coaster) ecotypes of Lake Superior brook   trout in ways that will assist with the rehabilitation and   management of migratory or partially migratory brook trout   populations. A variety of mechanisms can produce alternative   ecotypes and these mechanisms influence how populations respond to   environmental stresses and management actions. Field research will   be conducted in Nipigon Bay, ON. An inter-stream, comparative   approach is proposed to delineate the form of migratory system.   Streams will be of similar, manageable size, but different in the   production of migrants and the presence of inter-specific   competitors. We will first characterize the ecology and movements of   the brook trout ecotypes using stable isotopes (d13C and d15N),   morphology, aging of pectoral fin rays, otoliths, and vertebrae, and   monitoring of movements using PIT tags. We will then combine game-  theoretic models developed for partial migration with stage-  structured demographic models to examine the influence of density-   and frequency-dependence and environmental stochasticity on the   propensity for individuals to migrate. Lastly, we will use   elasticity analysis to predict the population changes expected in   response to density dependence and to recent changes in management   actions. Our study is consistent with the GLFC's milestone of   conserving native biodiversity and the Lake Superior Lake Committee's   objective of maintaining widely distributed, self-sustaining   populations of brook trout in as many historical habitats as   possible.

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Robert McLaughlinPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 4 projects
Rob MackerethResearcher
Associated with 2 projects
Luis Antonio Velez-EspinoResearcher
Associated with 1 projects
Great Lakes Fishery Commission $ 77,242.00CADActual

Funding 54 projects for a total of $5,089,137.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Natural Ecological Processes
Resource Management
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Superior
State Province
Annex Numbers
Surveillance and Monitoring

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