Date of Award:

1981

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Wildlife Science

Advisor/Chair:

Ross V. Bulkley

Abstract

Temperatures selected seasonally by adult mountain whitefish were measured in the laboratory in a horizontal gradient. Final preferendum estimates, based on acute (3-hour) preference tests conducted with fish acclimated to 5, 10, and 15 C each season, were 17.7 C (pre-spawning), 11.9 C (post-spawning), 9.9 C (winter), and 16.3 C (spring). Seasonal influence on temperature selection was evident on the basis of differences in final preferenda, covariance analysis of responses of laboratory-acclimated fish, and temperature selection by fish held at ambient river temperatures. Post-spawning and winter groups selected lower temperatures than did pre-spawning and spring groups. Pre-spawnine fish selected temperatures unsuitable for embryo survival. Reproductive status as reflected by gonad size was evidently not a factor that influenced seasonal temperature selection of adult whitefish.

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