Event Title

Matching Watershed and Otolith Microchemistry to Establish Natal Origins of an Endangered Lake Sucker

Presenter Information

Deanna Strohm

Location

Ellen Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

https://forestry.usu.edu/htm/video/conferences/restoring-the-west-conference-2014/

Abstract

Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as stream fragmentation, revised flow regimes, channelization, sediment loading, and introduced non-native species, have resulted in high rates of decline in freshwater species. Many desert species, such as the June sucker (Chasmistes liorus), are currently listed as endangered. Managers have increasingly turned to habitat restoration as a key component to recovery plans. For endangered species, one of the primary outcomes of habitat restoration is that it should result in successful reproduction and recruitment of individuals into the adult population. The June sucker is potamodromous, demonstrating migrations from a lake habitat, Utah Lake, UT, into degraded tributary habitats to spawn.

Confirmation of natural recruitment as a function of habitat restoration can only be achieved by establishing natal origins. Recent research has proven the validity of otolith microchemistry, a technique that analyzes small quantities of elements, to trace potamodromous fish to their natal tributaries. Previous studies have documented that localized habitats in terms of microchemistry are reflected in otolith composition, thereby potentially making this a valuable way of determining fish origins. The primary goal of this study is to use otolith microchemistry to establish natal origins of June sucker. To accomplish this we will first quantify the chemical signatures among tributary spawning habitats. Second, determine if the otolith microchemistry signatures from June sucker otoliths can be used to determine natal origins. Lastly, we will develop a statistical model that is capable of classifying fish to their respective tributary based the element:calcium ratios in the otolith microchemistry.

The data obtained from this study will advance the current understanding of the June sucker recruitment dynamics and result in a fundamental improvement in our ability to determine where natural recruitment into the adult spawning population is occurring. In addition, this knowledge may help evaluate factors limiting recruitment in Utah Lake tributaries, identify future restoration localities, and assist effectiveness monitoring of spawning habitat restoration efforts.

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Oct 21st, 10:50 AM Oct 21st, 11:00 AM

Matching Watershed and Otolith Microchemistry to Establish Natal Origins of an Endangered Lake Sucker

Ellen Eccles Conference Center

Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as stream fragmentation, revised flow regimes, channelization, sediment loading, and introduced non-native species, have resulted in high rates of decline in freshwater species. Many desert species, such as the June sucker (Chasmistes liorus), are currently listed as endangered. Managers have increasingly turned to habitat restoration as a key component to recovery plans. For endangered species, one of the primary outcomes of habitat restoration is that it should result in successful reproduction and recruitment of individuals into the adult population. The June sucker is potamodromous, demonstrating migrations from a lake habitat, Utah Lake, UT, into degraded tributary habitats to spawn.

Confirmation of natural recruitment as a function of habitat restoration can only be achieved by establishing natal origins. Recent research has proven the validity of otolith microchemistry, a technique that analyzes small quantities of elements, to trace potamodromous fish to their natal tributaries. Previous studies have documented that localized habitats in terms of microchemistry are reflected in otolith composition, thereby potentially making this a valuable way of determining fish origins. The primary goal of this study is to use otolith microchemistry to establish natal origins of June sucker. To accomplish this we will first quantify the chemical signatures among tributary spawning habitats. Second, determine if the otolith microchemistry signatures from June sucker otoliths can be used to determine natal origins. Lastly, we will develop a statistical model that is capable of classifying fish to their respective tributary based the element:calcium ratios in the otolith microchemistry.

The data obtained from this study will advance the current understanding of the June sucker recruitment dynamics and result in a fundamental improvement in our ability to determine where natural recruitment into the adult spawning population is occurring. In addition, this knowledge may help evaluate factors limiting recruitment in Utah Lake tributaries, identify future restoration localities, and assist effectiveness monitoring of spawning habitat restoration efforts.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2014/Posters/3