Growth of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in warm-temperate lakes: Implications for environmental change

Jennifer M. Blair, Ilia Ostrovsky, Brendan J. Hicks, Robert J. Pitkethley, Paul Scholes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To predict potential effects of climate and anthropogenic impacts on fish growth, we compared growth rates of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in nine closely located warm-temperate lakes of contrasting morphometry, stratification and mixing regime, and trophic state. Analyses oflong-term mark-recapture data showed that indeep oligotrophic and mesotrophic lakes, trout growth rates increased with increasing indices of lake productivity. In contrast, in shallow eutrophic lakes, where fish habitat volume is constrained by temperature and dissolved oxygen, trout growth rates declined with increasing productivity. Growth rates were higher in lakes with greater volumes of favourable habitat (i.e., dissolved oxygen > 6.0 mg·L-1 and temperature < 21 °C) and lower in lakes with increased turbidity, chlorophyll a, and nitrogen concentrations. Our findings suggest that increases in lake productivity and temperatures as a result of global climatic change are likely to be more detrimental to salmonid habitat quality in shallower, productive lakes, while salmonids will better endure such changes in deeper, oligotrophic lakes. Fishery managers can use this information to aid future stocking decisions for salmonid fisheries in warm-temperate climates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-823
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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