Swimming Performance of Rainbow Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout in an Open-Channel Flume
Blank, Matt D.
Kappenman, Kevin M.
Banner, Katharine M.
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We used an open-channel flume to characterize the swimming performance of Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and Westslope Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi ranging nominally in fork length from 15 to 30 cm. With an open-channel flume, we observed volitional swim performance of wild-caught Rainbow Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout; the fish were not coerced, prodded, or spooked into action. We also observed the maximum short-duration swim speed of the fish, providing important effective leap or velocity challenge information for the design of intentional barriers. We conducted the experiment with a consistently low water velocity challenge and characterized swim speeds by using weighted least-squares regression, revealing no evidence of a difference in swim speeds between the two species. We estimated the overall average swim speed for Rainbow Trout to be 0.84 m/s (SE = 0.02), with a 95% confidence interval of 0.79–0.89 m/s, and that for Westslope Cutthroat Trout to be 0.84 m/s (SE = 0.03), with a 95% confidence interval of 0.78–0.90 m/s. The maximum swim speeds observed were 2.72 m/s for Rainbow Trout and 3.55 m/s for Westslope Cutthroat Trout. The project results provide new information on the swimming ability of wild Rainbow Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout that can be used to improve fish passage or barrier design.
Blank, Matt D., Kevin M. Kappenman, Kathryn Plymesser, Katharine Banner, and Joel Cahoon. “Swimming Performance of Rainbow Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout in an Open-Channel Flume.” Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 11, no. 1 (June 2020): 217–225. doi:10.3996/052019-jfwm-040.