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European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 575–583 | Cite as

Multiple electrofishing as a mitigate tool for removing nonnative Atlantic brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) threatening a native Mediterranean brown trout population

  • Arnaud CaudronEmail author
  • Alexis Champigneulle
Original Paper

Abstract

In the native range of the brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) in Europe, the hybridization of native populations by nonnative domesticated strains introduced by stocking is one of the most serious threats to the long-term conservation of diversity within this species. With the objective of conserving and restoring the native gene pool, fishery managers are beginning to implement various management strategies at the local scale. Nevertheless, few case studies have been published that investigate the effectiveness of the various different conservation strategies for native brown trout populations. In the Chevenne Creek, a small French mountain stream, we tested the strategy of removing nonnative individuals by multiple electrofishing carried out by fishery managers in order to evaluate its feasibility and effectiveness for eliminating a nonnative population threatening a native population. Electrofishing produced major reductions in the nonnative population between 2006 and 2009, with 82–100% of nonnative individuals being removed over a period of 4 years. Nevertheless, despite multiple-electrofishing campaigns, this nonnative population was not entirely eradicated, and some natural recruitment persisted. The young of the year and subadults were less effectively removed than the adults. The results suggest that repeated electrofishing campaigns can be used by managers to reduce the nonnative brown trout population with the objective of conserving the native gene pool, but the removal operation must be continued for at least 4 consecutive years. This strategy, which is feasible in small streams, has to be followed by complementary operations to allow the restoration of a new, native, self-sustainable brown trout population.

Keywords

Brown trout Conservation Electrofishing Nonnative trout removal 

Notes

Acknowledgement

We would like to thank the technical team of the Haute-Savoie Departmental Federation of Fisheries: G. Bini, L. Catinaud, P. Huchet, and L. Vigier for their participation in the field operations.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut National Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Centre Alpin de Recherche sur les Réseaux Trophiques des Ecosystèmes Limniques (CARRTEL)ThononFrance

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