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Potential negative impacts of introduced rainbow trout on endangered Sakhalin taimen through redd disturbance in an agricultural stream, eastern Hokkaido

Authors


K. Nomoto, Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Kita 10 Nishi 5, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 060-0810, Japan; e-mail: nomoto@ees.hokudai.ac.jp

Abstract

Nomoto K, Omiya H, Sugimoto T, Akiba K, Edo K, Higashi S. Potential negative impacts of introduced rainbow trout on endangered Sakhalin taimen through redd disturbance in an agricultural stream, eastern Hokkaido.
Ecology of Freshwater Fish 2010: 19: 116–126. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S

Abstract –  Sakhalin taimen (Hucho perryi) populations have decreased in Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, primarily because of overexploitation and habitat degradation. Here we document another threat to this species, that of spawning redd superimposition by artificially introduced rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Sakhalin taimen and rainbow trout are the only spring-spawning salmonid species in Hokkaido. In 2006–2008, spawning activities of both these species were observed in a Hokkaido stream, and it was determined that their spawning periods overlapped during mid-late April. They also spawned at similar water velocities, depths and substrate compositions. Although female Sakhalin taimen were larger than female rainbow trout, their egg burial depths were nearly identical. During the observation period, rainbow trout redds were approximately five times more abundant than Sakhalin taimen redds, and about 30% of the observed Sakhalin taimen redds were superimposed by rainbow trout redds. The high degree of spatial and temporal overlap in spawning, the similar egg burial depths of both species, and the high proportion of superimposed redds suggest that the introduced rainbow trout impact the endangered Sakhalin taimen in Hokkaido, and possibly, in other areas where the two species occur together.

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