Speakers: Bryan Maitland and Alex Latzka
Untangling the effects of hydrologic change on trout in Wisconsin stream
Wisconsin boasts <13,000 miles of coldwater streams that support world-class fisheries for brook trout and brown trout. However, recent hydrologic changes across the state may make streams less suitable for trout survival. On the one hand, climate change-associated altered precipitation patterns have led to more frequent and extreme flooding in streams across the state, which can threaten the successful emergence of trout fry or the survival of juvenile trout. Simultaneously, high capacity wells can deplete groundwater levels which decreases groundwater input and can result in higher temperatures, lower flows, and sometimes dry streams. In this presentation, we’ll discuss how regional changes in precipitation, streamflow, and temperature have affected trout populations in Wisconsin using continuously collected data spanning 1994-2020. We will then explore the effects of future weather and streamflow conditions on long-term trout population dynamics, and how results from our analysis can enable more informed stocking, habitat restoration, and conservation strategies by managers.