Influences of Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) and Mysis diluviana on kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka) in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho
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Research on Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho, has focused on the influence of two potential limiting factors for kokanee Oncorhynchus nerka (Walbaum, 1792): competition for food with Mysis diluviana (Loven, 1862, hereafter Mysis) and predation by lake trout Salvelinus namaycush (Walbaum, 1792). Population fluctuations of Mysis and lake trout have resulted in substantial heterogeneity in food web conditions, apparently altering both bottom-up and top-down dynamics. Therefore, relative importance of predation and competition were evaluated as drivers of kokanee abundance, biomass, and production. A series of general linear models was used to evaluate relative influences of Mysis and lake trout on kokanee. Kokanee production was a density-dependent process and the collapse of Mysis corresponded to an increase in the modeled maximum annual production of kokanee from 224 tonnes to 408 tonnes. Lake trout also negatively influenced kokanee biomass. A Mysis-mediated, predator-induced kokanee biomass collapse occurred when lake trout and Mysis abundances were both high. Sustainable management of this fishery requires recognition that competition with Mysis will define the scope of kokanee production and therefore the scope of sustainable predation.
KeywordsDensity-dependence Competition Predation Predator suppression Thresholds
This study was supported by U.S. Department of Energy - Bonneville Power Administration (Grant No. 1994-047-00). Avista Utilities provided funding for lake trout netting operations. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. The authors would like to thank the numerous professionals who have contributed to the Lake Pend Oreille Fishery Research Program over the last two decades.
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