Life history differences between fat and lean lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) morphs in Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Author(s):

M.J. Hansen, N.A. Nate, L. Chavarie, A.M. Muir, M.S. Zimmerman, and C.C. Krueger.

Journal or Book Title: Hydrobiologia

Year Published: 2016

Abstract:

Life history characteristics (size, age, plumpness, buoyancy, survival, growth, and maturity) were compared between fat and lean morphs of lake charr Salvelinus namaycush in Great Slave Lake, Canada, to determine if differences may reflect effects of resource polymorphism. Lake charr were sampled using graded-mesh gill nets set in three depth strata. Of 236 lake charr captured, 122 were a fat morph and 114 were a lean morph. Males and females did not differ from each other in any attributes for either fat or lean morphs. The fat morph averaged 15 mm longer, 481 g heavier, and 4.7 years older than the lean morph. The fat morph averaged 26% heavier and 48% more buoyant at length than the lean morph. Survival of the fat morph was 1.7% higher than that of the lean morph. The fat morph grew at a slower annual rate to a shorter asymptotic length than the lean morph. Fat and lean morphs matured at similar lengths and ages. We concluded that the connection between resource polymorphism and life histories in lean versus fat lake charr suggests that morph-specific restoration objectives may be needed in lakes where lake charr diversity is considered to be a restoration goal.

DOI: 10.1007/s10750-015-2633-2

shadow