Service Reared Lake Trout Spawning Behavior
Similar to Wild Lake Trout
BY CHARLES BRONTE, GREEN BAY FWCO
Acoustic receiver array off Drummond Island, Michigan. Credit: Tom Binder, USGS
Acoustic telemetry was used in conjunction with statistical capture–recapture models to compare degree of spawning site fidelity of wild and hatchery-reared lake trout in northern Lake Huron. Annual survival was estimated to be between 77% and 81% and did not differ among wild and hatchery males and females. Site fidelity estimates were high in both wild and hatchery-reared lake trout, and ranged from 0.78 to 0.94, but were slightly lower in hatchery-reared fish than in wild fish. The ecological implication of the small difference in site fidelity between wild and hatchery-reared lake trout is unclear, but similarities in estimates suggest that many hatchery-reared fish use similar spawning sites to wild fish and that most return to those sites annually for spawning.
Acoustic tag in lake trout. Credit: Chuck Krueger, Michigan State University
The study was led by Dr. Tom Binder, a post-doctoral researcher at Michigan State University, in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and funded under the Great Lakes Fishery Commission by way of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The work was published in the January 2016 issue of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.