Title

Spatial and seasonal variation in brook trout diet, growth, and consumption in a complex Appalachian watershed

Semester

Fall

Date of Graduation

2004

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

MS

College

Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design

Department

Wildlife and Fisheries Resources

Committee Chair

J. Todd Petty

Committee Co-Chair

Patricia M. Mazik

Abstract

I quantified brook trout diet, growth, and consumption in the upper Shavers Fork watershed from May 2002--October 2003. Seven study sites were selected to represent small tributary, large tributary, and mainstem habitats within the watershed. The objectives of the study were to determine if diet, growth, and consumption in brook trout were dependent on fish size, season, and location within the watershed. Fish diets were sampled and categorized into six prey type groups to determine variability in prey composition and diet mass. Mark-recapture was used to measure growth in individual fish between sampling seasons and the growth information was then used to estimate consumption with a bioenergetics model. Differences in means for diet mass, growth, growth rates, consumption, consumption rates, and proportion of maximum consumption were determined with repeated measures analysis of variance. Chi-square analysis was used to determine proportional differences in diet composition among site types and brook trout size classes. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).

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