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Monday, January 25 • 11:20am - 11:40am
Biotic and Abiotic Factors Affecting Salmonid and Sculpin Abundance, Density, and Biomass In Tributaries of The Manistee River, Michigan

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AUTHORS: Cameron W. Goble, Michigan Technological University; Nancy A. Auer, Michigan Technological University; Casey J. Huckins, Michigan Technological University; Brian M. Danhoff, Michigan Technological University; J. Marty Holtgren, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Stephanie A. Ogren, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

ABSTRACT: We conducted a three year investigation of fish community and habitat in eight tributary streams of the Manistee River, MI ranging in average width from 1.7 – 8.5 m to explore their suitability as potential locations for reestablishing Arctic grayling Thymallus arcticus, an extirpated native species, in the State of Michigan. The effects of biotic and abiotic factors on the relative abundance, density, and biomass of brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis, brown trout Salmo trutta and slimy sculpin Cottus cognatus were evaluated at 22 tributary study sites. Together these species comprised 94% of all fish captured over the course of the study and are commonly used as indicator species for assessing cold-water stream systems in the Great Lakes region. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) of brown trout was negatively correlated with CPUE of both brook trout and slimy sculpin. Instream habitat features also play roles in structuring the fish community in these streams. For example, both brown trout CPUE and biomass tended to increase with stream width, depth, and velocity whereas brook trout CPUE and biomass tended to be greatest in smaller streams (< 2.5m wide) and slimy sculpin densities were negatively correlated with stream width and velocity. It appears that stream size is an important factor in some of the observed differences in abundance, density, and biomass for three of the most abundant cold-water fish species in this portion of the Manistee River watershed. Possible differences in catchability between species as related to stream size could explain why direct negative correlations between species were observed for CPUE but not for density or biomass.

Monday January 25, 2016 11:20am - 11:40am EST