Date of this Version
Animal Biotelemetry (2023) 11:25
Double-Crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auratus), Walleyes (Sander vitreus), and Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) are migratory predators that undergo extensive movements in Lake Huron. Stocking of juvenile salmonid fish (Oncorhynchus and Salmo sp.) is an important component of fishery management in Lake Huron and assessing the spatial and temporal extent of predator movements is a useful consideration for determining when and where to stock juvenile fish to reduce predation and maximize survival. Previous investigation indicated that some Walleyes migrate to the main basin of Lake Huron in spring from Saginaw Bay. Similarly, telemetry studies of Lake Trout movement in Lake Huron have indicated an onshore movement in the spring. We used detection histories of Walleyes implanted with acoustic transmitters tagged in Saginaw Bay and Lake Trout implanted in northern Lake Huron to estimate the arrival date of migrating adults at eight ports in Lake Huron, where hatchery reared juvenile salmonids are stocked. Satellite telemetry of Cormorants that return to nesting grounds in northern Lake Huron were used to estimate their arrival dates at the same Lake Huron ports. Arrival of Walleye at Lake Huron ports ranged from April 10th to May 7th. Cormorants arrived earlier than Walleye at most Lake Huron ports (April 11th–April 18th). Lake Trout were more variable with a range of onshore movement from March 28th to May 16th. Our results suggested stocking efforts at these ports should generally occur before April 14th to decrease predatory impact from Cormorants, Walleyes, and Lake Trout.
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