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Rainbow trout growth data and growth covariate data downstream of Glen Canyon Dam in the Colorado River, Arizona, 2012 - 2016

Data for journal manuscript: Changes in prey, turbidity, and competition reduce somatic growth and cause the collapse of a fish population


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Yard, M.D., 2020, Rainbow trout growth data and growth covariate data downstream of Glen Canyon Dam in the Colorado River, Arizona, 2012 - 2016: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


These data are the primary data used to estimate rainbow trout abundance and survival in the Colorado River, Glen and Grand Canyons. Refer to the analyses as per the associated journal manuscript (see Larger Work Citation). Prey availability, feeding efficiency, and competition reduce somatic growth and cause the collapse of a fish population" Nighttime boat electrofishing was used to sample rainbow trout four times per year in April, July, September, and January, from April 2012 through September 2016. A total of five reaches were sampled between Glen Canyon Dam (river kilometer [rkm] 0) to below the confluence with the Little Colorado River (located at rkm 130). Reaches ranged from two to six km in length. A total of 47,056 individual [...]


Point of Contact :
Mike D Yard
Originator :
Mike D Yard
Metadata Contact :
Mike D Yard
Publisher :
U.S. Geological Survey
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
SDC Data Owner :
Southwest Biological Science Center
USGS Mission Area :

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The purpose of these datasets is to quantify the effects of abiotic and biotic factors on somatic growth of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam and demonstrate the resulting effect on maturation and survival rates and abundance. Rainbow trout is a freshwater salmonid that supports many recreational fisheries but is also included in the global list of the top 100 worst invasive species (Global Invasive Species Database 2018). Improved understanding of factors that affect somatic growth rates, abundance, and distribution of this species would help manage fisheries and the impacts of numerous introductions on native fish; particularly endangered species. Some rainbow trout from this tailwater population disperse downstream where they can have negative effects on endangered Humpback Chub (Gila cypha). Understanding the factors which control the vital rates of rainbow trout below Glen Canyon Dam is therefore critical for managing both the tailwater sport fishery and Humpback Chub. These datasets were developed to identify the factors that control somatic growth and to determine the causes of change in rainbow trout population abundance and distribution. Somatic growth is a potentially important process controlling fish populations since it can affect survival, sexual maturity, and reproductive success. This large field effort provided approximately 10,000 direct observations of growth at 3-month intervals over five years. Prey availability and competition were quantified as were a suite of abiotic covariates. The objectives of this research were to determine the effects of discharge, water temperature, solar insolation, turbidity-driven reactive distance (feeding efficiency), intraspecific competition, and prey availability on growth rates of rainbow trout. These six covariates were selected based on hypotheses of how they affect the rate of prey delivery, metabolic and foraging costs, foraging efficiency, and prey availability. This study is one of few that links abiotic factors, prey availability, and competition, to fish growth, vital rates, and population abundance. Making these research datasets accessible to the broader public and research community potentially benefits future research by allowing for reanalysis and alternative analysis yet explored. Hopefully, by presenting these original data will facilitate the development of collaborative efforts and provide data sources for educational research and analytical training.


The author(s) of these data request that data users contact them regarding intended use and to assist with understanding limitations and interpretation. Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data for other purposes, nor on all computer systems, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty.

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DOI doi:10.5066/P90ODKZ3

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