Predation relationships between introduced salmonids and the native fish fauna in lakes and reservoirs in northern Patagonia


Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, U. P. Universidad Nacional del Comahue, 8400 Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina


Abstract– A few native and exotic fish species are caught frequently in Andean lakes and reservoirs of northwestern Patagonia. Puyen (Galaxias maculatus) prey on zooplankton and benthos. Percichthys trucha has a wide range of prey, mainly benthos, while P. colhuapiensis become piscivorous when grown. Pejerrey (Odonthestes hatcheri) is omnivorous and large size individuals can be piscivorous. A siluroid, Diplomystes viedmensis, preys on benthos, insects, and fishes. Introduced salmonids are potential piscivorous. The puyen is the major prey category among fishes. Salmonids and perchichtids seem to partially overlap their diets but predation on Diplomystes appears to be restricted to salmonids. Present abundance of puyen, pejerrey and Percichthys spp. does not indicate a strong salmonid effect. However, the low abundance of D. viedmensis does. We studied present predation relationships among native and introduced fishes and postulated possible effects upon native fish fauna.