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Individual Variation in Foraging Movements in a Lake Population of Young-of-the-Year Brook Charr (Salvelinus Fontinalis)

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We examined the variation in foraging movements in a population of young-of-the-year (YOY) brook charr living in the near-shore littoral zone of a lake. By repeating the methodology of an earlier stream study, we made direct comparisons between data from lake and stream populations. In general, the pattern of variation in foraging movements was similar between the two sites with greater variability and activity observed in the lake population. The dichotomous nature of the proportion of time spent moving in the stream was also observed in the lake population but in a reversal of the stream pattern. Charr that moved constantly while foraging represented the largest movement category in the lake. In general, variation in foraging movements were more strongly related to the rate of prey rejection, whereas environmental factors, such as distance from shore, submerged objects, and the amount of overhead riparian cover, were more strongly related to prey ingestion. This last finding directly contrasts with that found in the stream literature for YOY charr in still water where ingestion rate, as estimated using feeding attempt rate, increases with the mobility of YOY charr.

Affiliations: 1: Harkness Laboratory of Fisheries Research, Aquatic Ecosystems Research Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Box 5000, Maple, Ontario, Canada, L6A 1S9


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