Caputo, Michelle (2013) Migratory behaviour of brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, and the potential for co-management of the recreational fishery. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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Charr (Salvelinus spp.) exhibit a variety of migration strategies, whereby some individuals venture to sea (anadromous) while others spend the entirety of their lives in freshwater (residents). The anadromous individuals are of particular interest as their behaviours may shape life history and affect population dynamics through increased exposure to fishery exploitation. Here, I explore the migratory behaviour at sea of brook charr (S. fontinalis) from two distinct populations in Gros Morne National Park (GMNP), Newfoundland; one where the river enters a protected fjord and the other, open ocean. An interdisciplinary approach is used, integrating acoustic telemetry, otolith microchemistry, and fishermen surveys to quantify and contrast migratory behaviours, and to characterize the recreational fishery. Acoustic telemetry of 17 brook charr from one population (in the Bonne Bay fjord), and otolith microchemistry from two populations (Bonne Bay fjord, where N=23, and Western Brook, where N=82) show age and habitat specific movements of brook charr. Brook charr make their first seaward migration at age 2+, often with previous movements to brackish environment between ages 1-2. At sea, charr frequent areas close to river mouths during the beginning and end of migratory period, venturing further away during the mid period of their marine residency. Results indicate that estuarine habitat may be important to anadromous individuals. After first seaward migration at 2+, there was no significant age-specific pattern for subsequent migrations. Fishermen surveys from two charr fisheries in western Newfoundland (the brook charr fishery of GMNP, and the Arctic charr [S.alpinus]) fishery of Pistolet Bay) provided some evidence that sea-run charr are at increased risk of fisheries interactions. Surveys revealed the usefulness of fishermen’s knowledge to managers, especially to rural communities where local fishermen are the primary resource user and have historical knowledge of the fishery. In both cases, fishermen identified decreases in stock health, but where fishermen were more engaged, in Pistolet Bay, resource users supported increased management efforts to improve stock health. By comparing the GMNP fishery with the Pistolet Bay fishery, I emphasized the effectiveness of fishermen engagement in management regimes and highlight opportunities for comanagement in recreational fisheries to protect stock health where necessary. My results provide insight into the complexity of migratory strategies exhibited by charr species and the opportunities in management of charr recreational fisheries.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Includes bibliographical references (page 99).|
|Department(s):||Science, Faculty of > Biology|
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