A coaster brook trout from Hurricane River - summer 2007
Currently we have several ongoing projects in the laboratory...
Sevenmile Creek Exotic Salmonid Removal
This project started in 2007 and is the current stage of our work related to the rehabilitation of coaster brook trout in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. In this work, we are evaluating the effect of removing exotic salmon species (steelhead trout and coho salmon) from one stream in the park on brook trout populations. We compare the experimental stream (Sevenmile Creek) to a reference stream (Mosquito River) where no removal takes place as well as to historical data sets from both streams. The study involves population estimation of involved species, evaluation of potential for diet overlap, and the examination of how habitat is partitioned between species.
Brook trout overwintering ecology
We have recently begun work to evaluate the role of the winter season on brook trout dwelling in Lake Superior's tributaries. Our first step is to evaluate changes in the habitat over the course of the impressive Upper Peninsula winter and to monitor the fish as winter progresses... wish us luck!
Evaluation of round goby in gut contents from waterbird victims of botulism
We have recently begun collaborating with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on a project that arose from the significant die-offs of waterbirds, including a variety of protected species, that occurred in 2006 and 2007. These losses have been linked to botulism type E and both invasive Dreissena mussels and round goby have been implicated. Our role is to provide diet analysis in general and in-depth analysis of the fish component of the gut contents of these birds.
Brook trout physiology
We continue our work on the physiology of brook trout, especially coasters. Currently we are wrapping up work where we compared several different native Lake Superior strains under "common garden" conditions for differences in growth, metabolism, thyroid hormones, and morphology. We also continue to evaluate physiology in the field, most recently by conducting a pilot study on the levels of thyroid hormones in adult coasters from wild populations.