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Title: The effect of deposited fine sediment on summer survival and growth of rainbow trout in riffles of a small stream

Author: Harvey, Bret C.; White, Jason L.; Nakamoto, Rodney J.;

Date: 2009

Source: North American Journal of Fisheries Management

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Elevated fine-sediment inputs to streams can alter a variety of conditions and processes, including the amount of fine sediment stored in riffles. We sought to measure the influence of deposited fine sediment on the survival and growth of juvenile rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (106–130 mm fork length) using a field experiment that included 18 enclosures in riffles of a small northwestern California stream. The experiment included six replicates of three levels of deposited fine sediment (low, background, and high) that embedded riffle cobbles at 0, 50, and 100%, respectively. Only 1 of 12 fish survived in highsediment enclosures, while survival of fish in low- and background-sediment treatments equaled or exceeded 50%. Low- and background-sediment treatments could be distinguished from each other by a difference in fish growth: fish in the low-sediment treatment gained mass, on average, while all surviving fish in the background-sediment treatment lost mass. In addition to providing relatively high survival and growth benefits for juvenile rainbow trout, low-sediment experimental units were colonized at significantly higher rates by other vertebrates, particularly coastal giant salamanders Dicamptodon tenebrosus. The amount of stored fine sediment in small streams may substantially influence the total amount of habitat available to vertebrates at the watershed scale.

Keywords: stream, fish, salmonids, fine sediment, survival, growth

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Harvey, Bret C.; White, Jason L.; Nakamoto, Rodney J. 2009. The effect of deposited fine sediment on summer survival and growth of rainbow trout in riffles of a small stream. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 29: 434-440.

 


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