Food web interactions in Lake Chelan: Impacts of predation on salmonids - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Food web interactions in Lake Chelan: Impacts of predation on salmonids

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  1. Food web interactions in Lake Chelan: Impacts of predation on salmonids Erik Schoen & Dave Beauchamp Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences University of Washington

  2. Lake Chelan 9th deepest lake in the world (453 m) Over 80 km long Ultraoligotrophic Important fisheries and recreation resource

  3. Top Predators Zooplankton & Invertebrate Consumers Introduced Lake trout Chinook salmon (collapsed) Smallmouth bass Rainbow trout (no longer stocked) Kokanee Mysis relicta shrimp Native Bull trout (extirpated) Burbot Westslope cutthroat trout (collapsed) Northern pikeminnow Sculpins Three-spine stickleback Suckers

  4. Top Predators Zooplankton & Invertebrate Consumers Introduced Lake trout Chinook salmon (collapsed) Smallmouth bass Kokanee Mysis relicta shrimp Native Burbot Westslope cutthroat trout (collapsed) Northern pikeminnow

  5. A classic management dilemma: predator-prey imbalances in Western lakes Rapid kokanee collapses • Flathead Lake, MT • Priest Lake, ID • Whitefish Lake, MT Intensive lake trout suppression efforts • Yellowstone Lake, WY • Lake Pend Oreille, ID • Swan Lake, MT Spencer et al. 1991

  6. Key questions What are the major predators of salmonids in Lake Chelan? Especially for kokanee and westslope cutthroat trout How does predation operate? Spatial, seasonal, and size-class patterns Is predation by the lake trout population likely to increase?

  7. Basin differences: morphometry Lucerne Basin Wapato Basin

  8. Littoral Pelagic Profundal Pelagic Littoral Profundal Basin differences: habitat Deep Lucerne Basin “Shallow” Wapato Basin

  9. Basin differences: piscivore distribution • Lake trout density 7-fold greater • in shallow Wapato Basin • Northern pikeminnow density • similar in both basins • Burbot density 60% greater in • deep Lucerne Basin • Smallmouth bass captured in • Wapato Basin only

  10. Quantifying Predation Impacts Combine Bioenergetics Modeling & Directed Field Sampling Photo: M. Mazur

  11. Modeling Process: Simulation day 0 → day t Growth: W0→Wt Predator Energy Density (J/g) Diet proportions by Wt thru time Prey Energy Density (J/g) Thermal Experiencethru time Bioenergetics Model C = M + W + G How much food must be Consumed to satisfy observed Growth? or Consumption Estimate for 1 fish from 1 age class or growth cohort How much Growth given Consumption? Daily time step

  12. Modeling Process Consumer Growth Predator Energy Density Temporal Diet Composition Prey Energy Density Thermal Experience Bioenergetics Model Consumer Size Structure & Abundance Population Consumption Consumption Estimate Consumption as % of Prey Biomass or Production Biomass of Exploitable prey

  13. Muscle tissue: -Stable isotopes -Contaminants -Genetics Gut contents -Diet Scales & Otoliths: -Age & Back-calculate size-at-age

  14. Lake trout growth and mortality • Lake trout aged with opercles (Sharp & Bernard 1988) • Break-and-burn technique with otoliths did not yield usable age data • Growth curves differed between basins (L∞ greater in Lucerne Basin) • Mortality estimated from catch curves (Z = 0.34; annual S=71%)

  15. Lake trout diet • Mysis and cyprinids were major prey in Wapato Basin • In Lucerne Basin, kokanee was major prey of large lake trout • Lake trout and Chinook salmon were minor prey Kokanee Mysids Cyprinids

  16. Lake trout prey consumption:Size patterns Smallest size class consumed most total prey Largest size class consumed most salmonid prey Largest size class: 9+ yr old, 2+ kg TL > 24”

  17. Lake trout prey consumption: seasonal patterns Overall, more prey consumed during stratified July-Dec period Predation on kokanee shifted seasonally between basins Most lake trout cannibalism during summer x7

  18. Annual prey consumption per 1000 lake trout 6 kokanee per lake trout per year

  19. Key lake trout results • Lake trout density ~ 7x greater in Wapato Basin • Lake trout eat 4x more kokanee per capita in Lucerne Basin • Lake trout > 550 mm fork length are key predators, especially in Wapato Basin • Management actions may be slow to affect lake trout predation: key size class is > 9 years old • No cutthroat trout found in lake trout diets (n = 219 non-empty stomachs)

  20. Stable isotope analysis pelagic littoral Lake trout trophic level Kokanee Northern pikeminnow Zooplankton Crayfish

  21. Stable isotope analysis pelagic littoral trophic level

  22. Chinook salmon diet • Few stomach samples • Quantified diet by stable isotope mixing model (n = 6 Chinook, 411-785 mm FL) • Diet dominated by Mysis • Kokanee made up ~5% of diet • Consistent with diet data from salmon derbies in 1990s

  23. Northernpikeminnow diet • Smaller pikeminnow ate mostly invertebrates • Only largest pikeminnow ate kokanee and unidentified salmonids, and only in Wapato Basin

  24. Burbot diet • Large burbot in Wapato Basin ate mostly fish, including unidentified salmonids • Burbot in Lucerne Basin ate mostly invertebrates • Small sample sizes

  25. Smallmouth bass diet • Cyprinids, suckers, and crayfish comprised most of diets • Sample size small, mostly from summer • Bass captured in Wapato Basin only Summer Seasonal segregation from salmonids Currently no juvenile cutthroat trout present In Wapato Basin to attract predation

  26. Key results: other piscivores • Large northern pikeminnow and burbot consumed kokanee and unidentified salmonids, but only in Wapato Basin • Good news for kokanee, which spend most of year in Lucerne Basin • No cutthroat trout identified in diet of any species (n = 1296 total stomachs, 896 non-empty)

  27. Implications for managers Photo: Anton Jones

  28. Acknowledgements Funding: USGS, Chelan County PUD No. 1, UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Lake Chelan Sportsmen’s Association Nathanael Overman, Anna Buettner, Chris Sergeant, Martin Grassley, Brittany Long, Cara Menard, Cathy Ekblad, Mike Shepard, Erin Lowery Anton and Sandy Jones, Frank and Patricia Clark, and Joe Heinlen Phil Archibald, Mallory Lenz, Robert Sheehan, and US Forest Service Art Viola, Matt Polacek and WDFW Reed Glesne, Vicki Gempko, and NPS Jeff Osborn, Steve Hays and Chelan PUD Lake Chelan Fish Hatchery

  29. Questions?

  30. Lake Chelan kokanee thrive after lake trout and Mysis become established Sources: WDFW stocking records, Chelan PUD 2005, Brown 1984, DES 2000

  31. 0 Deep Lucerne Basin 20 Depth (m) 40 60 80 0 Shallow Wapato Basin 20 Depth (m) 40 60 Increased Mysis aggregation at shallower sites

  32. Growth Consumption = + Metabolism + Waste Bioenergetics Model