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1 November 2018 Seasonal Habitat Use of Slimy Sculpin and Juvenile Rainbow Trout in a Central New York Stream
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Non-native Oncorhynchus mykiss (Rainbow Trout) have been shown to have negative effects on native salmonid populations. However, interspecific associations between Rainbow Trout and native non-salmonid species have received little attention. Cottus spp. (sculpin) are a native benthic species group that comprise an important component of many lentic and lotic ecosystems in North America. In this study, we examined seasonal habitat associations between juvenile Rainbow Trout and C. cognatus (Slimy Sculpin) in a stream in the Lake Ontario watershed in New York. There was evidence of habitat partitioning among the age classes examined, with overyearling Rainbow Trout and subyearling Slimy Sculpin occupying disparate habitat. The habitat use by subyearling Rainbow Trout and overyearling Slimy Sculpin was similar, which may increase the potential for competition between these age groups. Overyearling Rainbow Trout exhibited the highest degree of habitat selection, whereas subyearling Slimy Sculpin exhibited the least. Our observations are the first reported on the ecological associations of Rainbow Trout and Slimy Sculpin and may provide important information in instances where sculpin are being re-introduced.
James H. Johnson, Gregg E. Mackey, Justin A. DiRado, Phyllis L. Randall, and Ross Abbett "Seasonal Habitat Use of Slimy Sculpin and Juvenile Rainbow Trout in a Central New York Stream," Northeastern Naturalist 25(4), 646-655, (1 November 2018).
Published: 1 November 2018

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