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Keywords:

  • brown trout;
  • Arctic charr;
  • harvest;
  • habitat use;
  • interaction;
  • diet

Abstract– Habitat use and population dynamics in brown trout Salmo trutta and Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus were studied in an oligotrophic lake over a period of 10 years. Previous studies showed that the species segregated by habitat during summer. While brown trout occupied the surface water down to a depth of 10 m, Arctic charr were found deeper with a maximum occurrence at depth 10–15 m. Following the removal of a large number of intermediate sized fish in 1988–89, habitat segregation between the species broke down and Arctic charr were found in upper waters, while brown trout descended to deeper waters. The following year, both species were most frequently found in surface waters at depths of 0–5 m. During the last four years, the species reestablished their original habitat segregation despite another removal experiment of intermediate-sized fish in 1992–1994. The removal of fish resulted in an increased proportion of large (≥ 25 cm) fish in both species. Furthermore, the charr stock responded by reduced abundance and increased size-at-age. The results revealed plasticity and strong resistance to harvest populations of brown trout and Arctic charr. This is probably due to internal mechanisms of intraspecific competition within each population, which result in differential mortality among size classes.