When Atlantic salmon disappeared from Lake Ontario, non-native salmonids were stocked to provide a fishery and to control the increasing population of prey fishes. Millions of rainbow trout, brown trout, Chinook salmon, and coho salmon were stocked into Lake Ontario. All have established naturalized populations.
Atlantic salmon do not naturally co-occur with any of these non-native salmonids, thus Atlantic salmon may be exposed to greater
interspecific competition than naturally encountered. Atlantic salmon may be competitively displaced
by certain non-native salmonid species. Rainbow trout and brown trout, in particular, overlap in their resource
preferences with Atlantic salmon and tend to be more aggressive than Atlantic salmon.
In addition, Atlantic salmon populations vary in their competitive ability and certain
populations may be better able to cope with competition with non-native salmonids.
This study will examine the performance of three candidate populations exposed to non-native salmonids in semi-natural streams. Juvenile performance will be determined using measures that are related to the survival of salmonids in natural streams.
Juveniles (fry) of all species will be placed into semi-natural streams for 10 months. Salmonid species will be differentially tagged using sub-dermal coloured plastic (elastomer).
Semi-natural streams will contain one of three groups of fish:
The multi-species group is to examine whether the effects on Atlantic salmon are worse, better, or no different than expected from a simple additive function of the effects occurring in the two-species groups.
The traits measured during the experiment are:
Smith AD, Houde ALS, Neff BD, Peres-Neto PR. 2017. Effects of competition on fitness-related traits. Oecologica 183: 701-713. |PDF|
Houde ALS, Wilson CC, Neff BD. 2017. Performance of four salmonids species in competition with Atlantic salmon. Journal of Great Lakes Research 43: 211-215. |PDF|
Houde ALS, Wilson CC, Neff BD. 2015. Effects of competition with four non-native salmonid species on Atlantic salmon from three populations. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 144: 1081-1090. |PDF|
Houde ALS, Wilson CC, Neff BD. 2015. Predictability of multi-species competitive interactions in three populations of Atlantic salmon. Journal of Fish Biology 86: 1438-1443. |PDF|
Xiaoping H, Wilson CC, Wellband KW, Houde ALS, Neff BD, Heath DD. 2015. Transcriptional profiling of two Atlantic salmon strains: implications for reintroduction into Lake Ontario. Conservation Genetics 16: 277-287. |PDF|
Houde ALS, Wilson CC, Neff BD. 2015. Competitive interactions among multiple non-native salmonids and two populations of Atlantic salmon. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 24: 44-55. |PDF|
Stanfield LW, Gibson SF, Borwick JA. 2006. Using a landscape approach to identify the distribution and density patterns of salmonids in Lake Ontario tributaries. Am Fish Soc Symp 48, pp. 601-621. Available at: http://www.afs-oc.org/publications/Stanfield06.htm.
Van Zwol JA. 2011. Interspecific competition among juvenile salmonids: Social behaviour and hormone levels of Atlantic salmon and two non-native trout species. Master of Science thesis, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.