UNDERSTANDING MOVEMENTS AND LIFE HISTORY STRATEGIES OF ANADROMOUS AND NON-ANADROMOUS TROUT
Collaborators: Skye and Lochalsh Rivers Trust, the University of Glasgow, Atlantic Salmon Trust & Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust
Location: Scotland, various
Migratory salmonids have declined markedly in many European regions over the last 20 ̶ 30 years and the likely causes are complex and interlinked. In particular, there remain large knowledge gaps in our understanding of the movements of salmonids in the marine environment. This information is essential to identify bottlenecks in salmon and sea trout survival.
National tracking projects are principally focusing on determination of migration pathways of juvenile salmon, very few studies are investigating the movements and habitat use of sea trout. From research in other countries and from a handful of studies conducted in Scotland, it is thought that sea trout are spending longer periods of time in coastal areas where they are more likely to be exposed to local environmental and human-induced stressors such as habitat disturbance and aquaculture. By understanding their movements in these important habitats, conservation efforts can be applied in targeted locations where they will have the most impactful and beneficial results.
Acoustic telemetry is being used to track individual fish movements within inshore habitats and during their migrations to and from the spawning grounds. By combining fish tracking data with physiological and genetic analysis techniques, the data generated will provide a better understanding of the key drivers for different patterns of S. trutta behaviour, movement, and survival in both freshwater and marine environments.
Ultimately, we aim to quantify the risks posed to trout populations by both natural and anthropogenic environmental change, helping us to inform future management of these stocks.