Title

Habitat Use of Leatherside Chub (Gila Copei) in the Presence of Predatory Brown Trout (Salmo Trutta)

Keywords

Gila copei, leatherside chub, habitat use, predation, Salmo trutta, brown trout, Utah

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to (1) examine distribution and habitat use of leatherside chub (Gila copei) in a creek with high densities of predatory brown trout (Salmo trutta), and (2) compare study results with published accounts of leatherside chub habitat use in streams with few or no brown trout. A 14-km section of Diamond Fork Creek, Utah, was point-shocked to determine macrohabitat (main channel and lateral habitat) and microhabitat (current, depth, substrate, and cover) use of leatherside chub. At the macrohabitat level, leatherside chub were most common in lower reaches of Diamond Fork Creek where the channel was braided and lateral habitats (cutoff pools and backwaters) were abundant. Only a single leatherside chub was found in the main channel of Diamond Fork. Investigations in other systems lacking brown trout indicated that leatherside chub occupy main channel habitats. At the microhabitat level, we found significant positive associations between presence of leatherside chub and both habitat depth and silt. In addition, we found a significant negative association between presence of leatherside chub and number of brown trout. Our results suggest predation by brown trout may limit leatherside chub to lateral habitats that could provide refugia against predation. The introduction of brown trout to systems with little lateral habitat could have serious effects on persistence of resident leatherside chub populations.

Original Publication Citation

Chris Walser, Mark C. Belk, and Dennis Shiozawa. 1999. Habitat use by leatherside chub (Gila copei) in the presence of predatory brown trout (Salmo trutta). Great Basin Naturalist 59: 272-277

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

1999-07-31

Publisher

The Great Basin Naturalist

Language

English

College

Life Sciences

Department

Biology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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