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The Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri is native to the Rocky Mountains and has declined in abundance and distribution as a result of habitat degradation and introduced salmonid species. Many of its remaining strongholds are in headwater basins with minimal human disturbances. Understanding the life histories, vital rates, and behaviors of Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout within headwater stream networks remains limited yet is critical for effective management and conservation. We estimated annual relative growth in length and weight, annual survival rates, and movement patterns of Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout from three tributaries of Spread Creek, Wyoming, and two tributaries of Shields River,...
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Despite the widespread use of redd counts to monitor trends in salmonid populations, few studies have evaluated the uncertainties in observed counts. We assessed the variability in redd counts for migratory bull trout Salvelinus confluentus among experienced observers in Lion and Goat creeks, which are tributaries to the Swan River, Montana. We documented substantially lower observer variability in bull trout redd counts than did previous studies. Observer counts ranged from 78% to 107% of our best estimates of true redd numbers in Lion Creek and from 90% to 130% of our best estimates in Goat Creek. Observers made both errors of omission and errors of false identification, and we modeled this combination by use...
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Hybridization between introduced and native fauna is a risk to native species and may threaten the long-term persistence of numerous taxa. Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss has been one of the most widely introduced species around the globe and often hybridizes with native Cutthroat Trout O. clarkii in the Rocky Mountains. Previous work has shown that hybridization negatively affects reproductive success, but identification of the traits contributing to that reduction has been elusive. In this study, we used a combination of field and laboratory techniques to assess how hybridization with Rainbow Trout affects seven traits during several stages of Westslope Cutthroat Trout development: embryonic survival, ova size,...
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Translocations are frequently used to increase the abundance and range of endangered fishes. One factor likely to affect the outcome of translocations is fish movement. We introduced embryos from five Westslope Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisipopulations (both hatchery and wild) at five different locations within a fishless watershed. We then examined the movement of age-1 and age-2 fish and looked for differences in movement distance among source populations and among introduction sites; we also examined the interactions among age, population, and introduction site. At age 1, most individuals (90.9%) remained within 1,000 m their introduction sites. By age 2, the majority of individuals (58.3%) still...
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The lower Kootenai River, Idaho, was sampled during the summers of 2012 and 2013 to evaluate its fish assemblage structure at seven sites within main- and side-channel habitats where large-scale habitat rehabilitation was undertaken. Understanding the current patterns of fish assemblage structure and their relationships with habitat is important for evaluating the effects of past and future rehabilitation projects on the river. Species-specific habitat associations were modeled, and the variables that best explained the occurrence and relative abundance of fish were identified in order to guide future habitat rehabilitation so that it benefits native species. The results indicated that the side-channel habitats...
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Using data collected from three river reaches in Montana, we evaluated our ability to detect population trends and predict fish future fish abundance. Data were collected as part of a long-term monitoring program conducted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to primarily estimate rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) abundance in numerous rivers across Montana. We used a hierarchical Bayesian mark-recapture model to estimate fish abundance over time in each of the three river reaches. We then fit a state-space Gompertz model to estimate current trends and future fish populations. Density dependent effects were detected in 1 of the 6 fish populations. Predictions of future fish populations...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open Fish Science Journal
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Pacific trout Oncorhynchus spp. in western North America are strongly valued in ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural views, and have been the subject of substantial research and conservation efforts. Despite this, the understanding of their evolutionary histories, overall diversity, and challenges to their conservation is incomplete. We review the state of knowledge on these important issues, focusing on Pacific trout in the genus Oncorhynchus. Although most research on salmonid fishes emphasizes Pacific salmon, we focus on Pacific trout because they share a common evolutionary history, and many taxa in western North America have not been formally described, particularly in the southern extent of their ranges....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fisheries
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.13681/full): Hybridization between invasive and native species, a significant threat to worldwide biodiversity, is predicted to increase due to climate-induced expansions of invasive species. Long-term research and monitoring are crucial for understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that modulate the effects of invasive species. Using a large, multidecade genetics dataset (N = 582 sites, 12,878 individuals) with high-resolution climate predictions and extensive stocking records, we evaluate the spatiotemporal dynamics of hybridization between native cutthroat trout and invasive rainbow trout, the world's most widely introduced invasive fish,...
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In this article we describe the current status and conservation of interior (potamodromous) Redband Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss sspp. throughout its range in the western United States using extant data and expert opinion provided by fish managers. Redband Trout historically occupied 60,295 km of stream habitat and 152 natural lakes. Currently, Redband Trout occupy 25,417 km of stream habitat (42% of their historical range) and 124 lakes or reservoirs. Nonhybridized populations are assumed to occupy 11,695 km (46%) of currently occupied streams; however, fish from only 4,473 km (18%) have been genetically tested. Approximately 47% of the streams occupied by Redband Trout occur on private land, 45% on government lands,...
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Environmental DNA sampling (eDNA) has emerged as a powerful tool for detecting aquatic animals. Previous research suggests that eDNA methods are substantially more sensitive than traditional sampling. However, the factors influencing eDNA detection and the resulting sampling costs are still not well understood. Here we use multiple experiments to derive independent estimates of eDNA production rates and downstream persistence from brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in streams. We use these estimates to parameterize models comparing the false negative detection rates of eDNA sampling and traditional backpack electrofishing. We find that using the protocols in this study eDNA had reasonable detection probabilities...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Twenty-five populations of westslope cutthroat trout from throughout their native range were genotyped at 20 microsatellite loci to describe the genetic structure of westslope cutthroat trout. The most genetic diversity (heterozygosity, allelic richness, and private alleles) existed in populations from the Snake River drainage, while populations from the Missouri River drainage had the least. Neighbor-joining trees grouped populations according to major river drainages. A great amount of genetic differentiation was present among and within all drainages. Based on Nei’s DS, populations in the Snake River were the most differentiated, while populations in the Missouri River were the least. This pattern of differentiation...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Genetics
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An understanding of the process of local adaptation would allow managers to better protect and conserve species. Many salmonids are in need of such efforts, and because they often persist in differing, isolated environments, they are useful organisms for studying local adaptation. In addition, the temperature sensitivity of salmonids provides a likely target for natural selection. We studied thermal adaptation in four wild populations and one hatchery stock of westslope cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi . The mean summer temperatures of source streams ranged from 6.7°C to 11.2°C. Embryos were collected from the wild, and embryonic development, embryonic survival, and juvenile growth were determined. A...
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Hybridization between invasive and native species, a significant threat to worldwide biodiversity, is predicted to increase due to climate-induced expansions of invasive species. Long-term research and monitoring are crucial for understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that modulate the effects of invasive species. Using a large, multi-decade genetics dataset (N = 582 sites, 12,878 individuals) with high-resolution climate predictions and extensive stocking records, we evaluate the spatiotemporal dynamics of hybridization between native cutthroat trout and invasive rainbow trout, the world’s most widely introduced invasive fish, across the northern Rocky Mountains of the United States. Historical...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Global Change Biology
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Prepositioned areal electrofishing devices (PAEDs) are used to evaluate microhabitat use by fishes because they minimize fright biases associated with traditional electrofishing techniques (e.g., boat electrofishing). Similarly, fixed underwater videography (FUV) is commonly used to minimize the effect of observers on fish behavior. The specific objectives of this research were to evaluate estimates of taxonomic occurrence and diversity between PAEDs and FUV and determine an appropriate time interval between positioning and electrifying of a PAED to reduce effects of PAED positioning on fish occurrence. Video cameras were positioned instream at 28 locations on the Kootenai River, Idaho, prior to PAED deployment...
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We successfully eradicated nonnative Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis by electrofishing from 2.4- to 3.0-km treatment reaches of four Rocky Mountain streams in Montana to conserve sympatric populations of native Westslope Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi. At least 6, and as many as 14, removal treatments of two to four electrofishing passes per treatment were required to successfully eradicate Brook Trout from these treatment reaches. We increased success by modifying our treatment efforts during this study from single annual treatments to several treatments a year to take advantage of autumn spawning and winter aggregating behavior. Eradication by electrofishing cost US \$3,500 to \$5,500 per kilometer...
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This study was conducted on the Kootenai River, Idaho to provide insight on sampling requirements to optimize future monitoring effort associated with the response of fish assemblages to habitat rehabilitation. Our objective was to define the electrofishing effort (m) needed to have a 95% probability of sampling 50, 75, and 100% of the observed species richness and to evaluate the relative influence of depth, velocity, and instream woody cover on sample size requirements. Sidechannel habitats required more sampling effort to achieve 75 and 100% of the total species richness than main-channel habitats. The sampling effort required to have a 95% probability of sampling 100% of the species richness was 1100 m for main-channel...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Northwest Science
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Translocations are frequently used to increase the abundance and range of endangered fishes. One factor likely to affect the outcome of translocations is fish movement. We introduced embryos from five Westslope Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi populations (both hatchery and wild) at five different locations within a fishless watershed. We then examined the movement of age-1 and age-2 fish and looked for differences in movement distance among source populations and among introduction sites; we also examined the interactions among age, population, and introduction site. At age 1, most individuals (90.9%) remained within 1,000 m their introduction sites. By age 2, the majority of individuals (58.3%) still...