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Movement and feeding ecology of recently emerged steelhead in Lake Ontario tributaries

Authors

  • J. H. Johnson,

    Corresponding author
    • Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science, USGS – Great Lakes Science Center, Cortland, New York, USA
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  • J. E. McKenna Jr,

    1. Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science, USGS – Great Lakes Science Center, Cortland, New York, USA
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  • K. A. Douglass

    1. Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science, USGS – Great Lakes Science Center, Cortland, New York, USA
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    • Present address: Homer Junior High School, P.O. Box 500, 58 Clinton Street, Homer, NY 13077.

Author's address: James H. Johnson, Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science, USGS – Great Lakes Science Center, 3075 Gracie Road, Cortland, NY 13045, USA.

E-mail: jhjohnson@usgs.gov

Summary

Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) ascend several Lake Ontario tributaries to spawn and juveniles are often the most abundant salmonid where spawning is successful. Movement and diet of recently emerged subyearling steelhead were examined in three New York tributaries of Lake Ontario. Downstream movement occurred mainly at night and consisted of significantly smaller fry that were feeding at lower levels than resident fry. Fry fed at the highest rate during the day and chironomids and baetids were the main components of their diet. The diet composition of steelhead fry was closely associated with the composition of the benthos in Trout Brook but more similar to the composition of the drift in the other streams. Daily ration was similar among streams, ranging from 10.2 to 14.3%. These findings are consistent with previous findings on the ecology of steelhead fry, as well as fry of other salmonid species.

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