Population biology of steelhead spawning runs in three Pennsylvania tributaries to Lake Erie

Bradley E. Thompson, C. Paola Ferreri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Little is currently known about the population biology of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) that spawn in Pennsylvania's Lake Erie tributaries or the role of natural reproduction in supporting this fishery despite its popularity and importance. The goal of this study was to describe the population characteristics of steelhead spawning runs in Crooked Creek, Godfrey Run, and Trout Run, three Pennsylvania Lake Erie tributaries that are annually stocked with 80,000 to 200,000 yearling steelhead. From fall 1997 to spring 1999, returning adult steelhead were sampled during both fall and spring spawning runs using seines and backpack electrofishing gear. Sex was determined using external characteristics, total length was measured, and a scale sample was collected from each fish. Scales were analyzed to determine age, life history patterns, and relative contributions of wild and hatchery-reared fish to seasonal spawning runs. Male steelhead dominated sex ratios in both Godfrey Run and Trout Run during both seasons, while female steelhead were more prevalent in Crooked Creek. Stream-age 1 steelhead were predominant in both fall and spring runs in all three streams. During both seasons in all streams, the majority of males returned after spending only one summer in Lake Erie while most female steelhead returned at lake-age-2. The relative contribution of wild steelhead to Pennsylvania spawning runs was minimal in all three streams for both seasons. As a result, future success of Pennsylvania's steelhead fishery will likely require the continuation of annual tributary stocking of steelhead smolts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-275
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

Fingerprint

Lake Erie
tributary
spawning
Biological Sciences
lake
fishery
wild relatives
trout
electrofishing
population characteristics
smolt
fish
fisheries
hatchery
sex ratio
life history
smolts
yearlings
hatcheries
Oncorhynchus mykiss

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

Cite this

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abstract = "Little is currently known about the population biology of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) that spawn in Pennsylvania's Lake Erie tributaries or the role of natural reproduction in supporting this fishery despite its popularity and importance. The goal of this study was to describe the population characteristics of steelhead spawning runs in Crooked Creek, Godfrey Run, and Trout Run, three Pennsylvania Lake Erie tributaries that are annually stocked with 80,000 to 200,000 yearling steelhead. From fall 1997 to spring 1999, returning adult steelhead were sampled during both fall and spring spawning runs using seines and backpack electrofishing gear. Sex was determined using external characteristics, total length was measured, and a scale sample was collected from each fish. Scales were analyzed to determine age, life history patterns, and relative contributions of wild and hatchery-reared fish to seasonal spawning runs. Male steelhead dominated sex ratios in both Godfrey Run and Trout Run during both seasons, while female steelhead were more prevalent in Crooked Creek. Stream-age 1 steelhead were predominant in both fall and spring runs in all three streams. During both seasons in all streams, the majority of males returned after spending only one summer in Lake Erie while most female steelhead returned at lake-age-2. The relative contribution of wild steelhead to Pennsylvania spawning runs was minimal in all three streams for both seasons. As a result, future success of Pennsylvania's steelhead fishery will likely require the continuation of annual tributary stocking of steelhead smolts.",
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Population biology of steelhead spawning runs in three Pennsylvania tributaries to Lake Erie. / Thompson, Bradley E.; Ferreri, C. Paola.

In: Journal of Great Lakes Research, Vol. 28, No. 2, 01.01.2002, p. 264-275.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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