US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



North American Journal of Fisheries Management 42:939–951, 2022. DOI: 10.1002/nafm.10780


U.S. government works are not subject to copyright.


Henrys Lake, Idaho, is a renowned trophy trout fishery that faces an uncertain future following the establishment of Utah Chub (UTC) Gila atraria. Utah Chub were first documented in the lake in 1993 and have become abundant over the past two decades. Little is known about the ecology of UTC, but they typically have negative effects on salmonids in systems where they have been introduced. We sought to fill knowledge gaps in UTC ecology and provide insight on potential interactions with Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout (YCT) Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri. Ninety-four YCT and 95 UTC were radio-tagged in spring 2019 and 2020 to better understand potential interactions between YCT and UTC in Henrys Lake. Fish were located via mobile tracking and fixed receivers from June to December 2019 and 2020. In June of both years, YCT and UTC were concentrated in nearshore habitats. As water temperatures increased, UTC were documented in deeper water (mean ± SD = 3.6 ± 1.4 m) and YCT became more concentrated in areas with cold water (e.g., mouths of tributaries, in-lake springs). In July and August, large congregations of UTC were observed. Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout were detected in tributaries from June to August, but no UTC were detected in the tributaries. By late fall (November–December), YCT were located along the shoreline and UTC were detected in the middle of the lake. Both YCT and UTC were observed in areas with dense vegetation. Macrophytes likely provided a food source for UTC and cover from predators for both species. Locations of YCT were negatively related to warm water temperatures, whereas UTC were positively associated with warm water temperatures. Results from this research fill knowledge gaps in UTC and YCT interactions as well as provide valuable insight on the ecology of UTC and adfluvial Cutthroat Trout populations. Furthermore, distribution patterns and habitat selectivity of YCT and UTC in Henrys Lake can be used to inform management decisions for fishery improvement and YCT conservation.