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Variability in expression of anadromy by female Oncorhynchus mykiss within a river network

Abstract

We described and predicted spatial variation in marine migration (anadromy) of female Oncorhynchus mykiss in the John Day River watershed, Oregon. We collected 149 juvenile O. mykiss across 72 sites and identified locations used by anadromous females by assigning maternal origin (anadromous versus non-anadromous) to each juvenile. These assignments used comparisons of strontium to calcium ratios in otolith primordia and freshwater growth regions to indicate maternal origin. We used logistic regression to predict probability of anadromy in relation to mean annual stream runoff using data from a subset of individuals. This model correctly predicted anadromy in a second sample of individuals with a moderate level of accuracy (e.g., 68% correctly predicted with a 0.5 classification threshold). Residuals from the models were not spatially autocorrelated, suggesting that remaining variability in the expression of anadromy was due to localized influences, as opposed to broad-scale gradients unrelated to mean annual stream runoff. These results are important for the management of O. mykiss because anadromous individuals (steelhead) within the John Day River watershed are listed as a threatened species, and it is difficult to discern juvenile steelhead from non-anadromous individuals (rainbow trout) in the field. Our results provide a broad-scale description and prediction of locations supporting anadromy, and new insight for habitat restoration, monitoring, and research to better manage and understand the expression of anadromy in O. mykiss.

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Notes

  1. Use of trade or firm names is for reader information only and does not constitute endorsement of any product or service by the U.S. Government

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Acknowledgements

All sampling was conducted in accordance with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife permit # OR2007-3680 M1, which was approved by NOAA and USFWS under the Endangered Species Act. Several biologists at the ODFW, including Tim Unterwegner, Jim Ruzycki, Jeff Neal, Shelly Miller, and Chris James, helped identify survey locations and provided critical information on the biology of O. mykiss in the John Day River basin. Peter Stratis, Nick Smith, and Brett Blundon provided assistance in the field and laboratory. Bob Hoffman, Cam Jones, Kathy Motter, and Frank Tepley provided assistance with analyses of water quality and otolith microchemistry. We thank three anonymous reviewers and J. Falke and K. McNyset for constructive comments on an early draft. Funding was provided by NOAA, USGS, and the USFS. Use of trade or firm names is for reader information only and does not constitute endorsement of any product or service by the U.S. Government.

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Correspondence to Jason B. Dunham.

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Mills, J.S., Dunham, J.B., Reeves, G.H. et al. Variability in expression of anadromy by female Oncorhynchus mykiss within a river network. Environ Biol Fish 93, 505–517 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-011-9946-4

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Keywords

  • Steelhead trout
  • Rainbow trout
  • Migration
  • Partial migration
  • Anadromy
  • Otolith microchemistry
  • Life history