Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 98, Issue 10, pp 2109–2121 | Cite as

Locomotor activity patterns of muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) assessed using tri-axial acceleration sensing acoustic transmitters

  • Sean J. Landsman
  • Eduardo G. Martins
  • Lee F. G. Gutowsky
  • Cory D. Suski
  • Robert Arlinghaus
  • Steven J. Cooke
Article

Abstract

The trade-off between remaining stationary and being active has consequences for the survival and growth of fishes. Recent advancements in telemetry tools have enabled researchers to assess activity patterns of free-swimming fishes using tri-axial acceleration-sensing acoustic transmitters. This study describes the summer activity patterns of muskellunge (Esox masquinongy) in an 8 km reach of the Rideau River, Ontario between 1 June and 20 August 2010. Acceleration measurements indicated that muskellunge tended to remain inactive for much of the time. The effect of time of day (i.e., diel patterns), water temperature, and fish size were also examined. Activity was lowest at dawn, increased throughout the day, peaked at dusk, and declined at night. Activity also declined above temperatures of 25 °C and was lower for larger muskellunge. A comparison of fish captured with rod and reel versus boat electrofisher failed to reveal a significant difference in behaviour. The results of this study illustrate the utility of accelerometer transmitters for studying the behavioural ecology of free-swimming fishes. The results also confirm that muskellunge are generally sedentary during the summer period, but do exhibit reasonably pronounced diel activity patterns.

Keywords

Muskellunge Activity Behaviour Accelerometer Locomotion 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean J. Landsman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eduardo G. Martins
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lee F. G. Gutowsky
    • 1
  • Cory D. Suski
    • 4
  • Robert Arlinghaus
    • 5
    • 6
  • Steven J. Cooke
    • 1
  1. 1.Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, Department of BiologyCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of Prince Edward IslandCharlottetownCanada
  3. 3.Department of Forest Sciences, Centre for Applied Conservation ResearchUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Department of Natural Resources and Environmental SciencesUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  5. 5.Division of Integrative Fisheries Management, Faculty of Life SciencesHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  6. 6.Department of Biology and Ecology of FishesLeibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland FisheriesBerlinGermany

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