Assessing Condition of Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) and Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in Pennsylvania Streams

Rebecca Harner, Jonathan Niles, Dan Ressler, Ecology Program and Freshwater Research Institute, Susquehanna University, 514 University Ave, Selinsgrove, PA 17870

The purpose of this study is to assess the condition of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in Pennsylvania streams. Competition is unavoidable when species coexist in habitats and rely on the same resources. Dominant individuals will limit the access and availability of resources, impacting its competitors’ health. Brown trout have higher thermal tolerances than brook trout, allowing them to inhabit warmer streams and deplete resources. The presence of brown trout impacts the condition of brook trout by forcing them to relocate out of their habitats and by limiting their access to resources. This study will compare trout condition in allopatric and sympatric populations using data on length-weight relationships to determine possible trends. Fish were collected from 30 streams in the Loyalsock Creek Watershed in central Pennsylvania annually between 2011 and 2020. Fulton’s Condition Factor (K = W/L3 X 100,000) and standard weight equations will determine the body condition and relative weight of individual fish. I anticipate the condition of brook trout to be negatively impacted by the presence of brown trout due to intraspecific competition.  This study will offer more insight on what factors influence trout condition, and these results will promote trout and stream conservation to stabilize freshwater ecosystems.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Rebecca Harner

Institution: Susquehanna University

Type: Poster

Subject: Ecology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 5
Date/Time: Tue 12:30pm-1:30pm
Session Number: 4097