Date of Award

12-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

David J. janetski

Second Advisor

Joseph E. Duchamp

Third Advisor

Jeffery L. Larkin

Fourth Advisor

Shawn Rummel

Abstract

Wild brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) suffer from habitat fragmentation caused by road culverts through reduced gene flow, access to thermal refugia, spawning habitat, increased competition with non-native species, and increased extinction risk of local populations. Culverts are categorized as “No AOP (Aquatic Organism Passage)” or “Reduced AOP” in a protocol developed by the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) in effort to prioritize them for removal. The current study tested upstream trout passage through “No AOP” and “Reduced AOP” culverts to assist in refining the NAACC protocol using remote stationary Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag readers. Findings suggest that culverts were incorrectly categorized and thus support the need for the NAACC protocol adjustment. Furthermore, non-native brown trout (Salmo trutta) were present within the watershed and presented an opportunity to investigate the impacts of competition through survival modelling and growth comparisons. Results concluded that competition between species may not be occurring.

Included in

Biology Commons

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