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Effects of Water-Level Management and Hatchery Supplementation on Kokanee Recruitment in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho

Whitlock, Steven L., Quist, Michael C., Dux, Andrew M.
Northwest science 2018 v.92 no.2 pp. 136-148
Oncorhynchus nerka, fish, hatcheries, lakes, models, Idaho
Resource managers have been attempting to recover the kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka) population in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho for more than three decades using an annual stocking program and an experimental water-level management strategy. This study evaluated the effect of both management actions on kokanee recruitment. A bootstrap-based generalized Ricker model was used to test if wild kokanee recruitment was significantly influenced by water-level management, while accounting for error due to sampling variability and differential survival of wild- and hatchery-origin fish within age-classes. Wild kokanee exhibited a compensatory stock-recruitment relationship, whereas hatchery recruitment was positively and linearly related to stocking. The model did not identify a significant relationship between water level and wild kokanee recruitment. Density dependence and variable stocking appeared to explain the synchronized and cyclic recruitment of wild and hatchery fry.