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Piscivory by brown trout Salmo trutta L. and Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus (L.) in Norwegian lakes

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Abstract

Size and frequency of occurrence of prey of brown trout Salmo trutta L. and Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus (L.) were recorded in 13 Norwegian lakes during 1973–1990. Piscivores usually comprised less than 5% of the total population. Arctic charr were less piscivorous than brown trout. Trout and charr became piscivorous at 13 and 16 cm length, respectively. These size thresholds were similar to those of other facultative piscivorous freshwater fish species. When present, three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus (L.), were preferred by all length groups of piscivorous brown trout and Arctic charr. Length of prey increased with increasing predator length, and the mean body length of prey was about 33 and 25% of predator length for trout and charr, respectively. Yearlings of charr were not recorded as prey.

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