Microhabitat use and movement by southern brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in a North Carolina stream
Anglin, Zachary William
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The southern brook trout is a genetically distinct form of brook trout found in the southern Appalachian Mountains, yet little is known about its ecology. I quantified microhabitat use of southern book trout over six seasonal samples (summer 2010, autumn 2010, spring 2011, summer 2011, autumn 2011, and spring 2012) and movement of southern book trout over three sample seasons (spring 2011, autumn 2011, and spring 2012) in Ball Creek, NC. Trout occupied deeper microhabitats with lower mean velocities and higher amounts of erosional substrata than were randomly available within the site. Upstream and downstream movements were exhibited during all seasons. No individuals exhibited movements greater than 300 meters. My results suggest that most southern brook trout have relatively small home ranges (< 20 m). Limited home ranges suggest that persistent populations require all essential habitat types within a relatively small area and that exchange among populations is likely minimal. Because natural populations of southern brook trout are isolated, microhabitat use and movement information will be useful for management and conservation of this subspecies.