Limestone Treatment of Whetstone Brook, Massachusetts. II. Changes in the Brown Trout (Salmo trutta)and Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)Fishery

Authors

  • Kenneth R. Simmons,

    1. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Field Headquarters, Westboro, MA 01581, U.S.A.
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  • Paul G. Cieslewicz,

    1. Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01033, U.S.A.
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    • 3

      Current address: Missouri Department of Conservation, 2302 County Park Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701, U.S.A.

  • Kirsten Zajicek

    1. Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01033, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Density, age structure, and growth rates of wild brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)and brown trout (Salmo trutta)in Whetstone Brook in northcentral Massachusetts were monitored for 4 years before and 3 years during limestone treatment to mitigate acidic conditions. The population density of brook trout increased significantly during treatment. Liming did not have any significant effects on the growth rates of brook trout or brown trout. Actual survival rates of brook trout and brown trout were not calculated due to the low density of both species, but more older individuals of both species were captured during the treatment period. Fulton condition factors (an index of fish condition) increased significantly for both brook trout and brown trout during treatment. Seven-day in situ bioassays of brown trout and rainbow trout demonstrated that liming improved the chemical environment for fish in Whetstone Brook. During a pretreatment bioassay in 1987, 100% rainbow trout mortality was observed at both the control and treatment stations in Whetstone Brook. Brown trout mortality was 67% in the control station and 70% in the treatment station. The pH during the 1987 bioassay averaged 4.90 in the control station and 4.99 in the treated station. During a bioassay conducted in 1990 after treatment began, rainbow trout mortality was 100% in the control station and 0% in the treatment station. Brown trout mortality was 17% in the control station and 0% in the treatment station. The pH during the 1990 bioassay averaged 5.23 in the control station and 6.60 in the treatment station. Analysis of total aluminum in the gills of fish from the 1990 bioassay revealed higher levels in fish from the control station than in those from the treatment station.

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