Date of Award:

1992

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Fisheries and Wildlife

Advisor/Chair:

Timothy Modde

Abstract

Redd distribution, redd density, and physical habitat were used to explain the distribution and abundance of young-of-the-year (YOY) brown trout (Salmo trutta) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Green River, Utah. The importance of variables at both a microhabitat and macrohabitat scale were assessed using stepwise regression analysis. Availability of cover (rock and vegetation) and proximity to spawning sites were the most important variables used to explain the distribution and abundance of YOY brown trout and rainbow trout. In addition, YOY brown trout and rainbow trout occupied specific microhabitats and showed patterns of use for particular depths, substrates, and cover. However, the importance of variables differed by year, indicating that variables other than those measured were also influencing their distribution and abundance. The results of my study indicate that variables at both a microhabitat and macrohabitat scale may be important in explaining the distribution and abundance of YOY trout in streams. Therefore, to better understand the habitat requirements of stream fishes and to better explain their distribution and abundance in streams future, studies may need to incorporate both physical habitat variables and variables affecting recruitment.

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