JUN 26, 2017 9:40 AM PDT

Steelhead Trout Population Data Reveals Low Survival Rate for Young Fish

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Animal populations around the world are in peril, and that includes the scaly creatures that swim around in our oceans, lakes, and rivers that we call fish.

One fish species, known colloquially as a steelhead trout and to the scientific community as Oncorhynchus mykiss, are on a major decline as of late, and a new study published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Services takes on what is believed to be one of the first global collections of population data of this species to get a better understanding.

Steelhead trout are on the decline, and new research suggests it starts with the low survival rate of the younglings.

Image Credit: John McMillan, Oregon State University

"We were able to compile data from multiple reports and databases to document survival in the ocean of Oregon, Washington, and BC steelhead trout and show that these trends paralleled declines in adult abundance and also differ among populations originating from different areas," says Dr. Neala Kendall, lead author of the study.

"We believe this is the first time these data have been brought together in a single study."

Related: Parts of the Texan coastline have been littered with dead fish

While researchers still aren’t completely sure what was causing the major global population decline, this new research closely examined 48 different populations and put a magnifying glass to what could very well be the real problem.

It turns out that steelhead trout young aren’t faring too well in the wild, and their survival rate is in a spiraling decline. The survival rate decline could be as far down as 77% in some populations when comparing data from the 1980’s to data obtained in the 21st century.

In addition, there’s a severe under abundance in adults. These figures ran parallel with those found in the decline of youngling survival. A 53% decline in adults from the 1980’s to the 2000’s has been observed in the same populations that yielded the 77% figure noted previously, so there’s a pattern here without a doubt.

Obviously, if the younglings aren’t surviving well enough, then there aren’t enough fish growing up to become adults. That said, this is probably why the populations are in such a spiraling decline today.

While we don’t know for sure what’s causing these declines, we do know that we must act fast if we’re to save steelhead trout populations. Fisheries rely on steelhead trout to support the massive demand in the global economy and the environment depends on them for the right ecological balance.

Related: Fish solve their problems by 'pooling' their experience collectively

While this research helped to raise flags about the problem, more research is needed to figure out exactly why these problems are occurring and what can be done to solve them.

Source: Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 23, 2020
Plants & Animals
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
JUL 23, 2020
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
Sharks of all sizes are vital to coral reef ecosystems, both as predators and prey. Shark populations have rapidly decli ...
JUL 27, 2020
Plants & Animals
Why Mosquitoes Have a Preference for Human Blood
JUL 27, 2020
Why Mosquitoes Have a Preference for Human Blood
There is a huge variety of mosquitoes in the world - around 3,500 species - and only a few seek humans for their blood m ...
AUG 17, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Therapy Found in The Shell of Cashews
AUG 17, 2020
Therapy Found in The Shell of Cashews
A compound found in the shell of cashews can help in neurodegeneration. "We see this as an exciting finding, sugges ...
OCT 09, 2020
Plants & Animals
Humpback Whales Thriving in NYC Waters
OCT 09, 2020
Humpback Whales Thriving in NYC Waters
Over the past decade, humpback whales have become increasingly common in waters known as the New York-New Jersey Bight. ...
OCT 20, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Legal Cannabis Does Not Increase THC Overdose in Dogs
OCT 20, 2020
Legal Cannabis Does Not Increase THC Overdose in Dogs
Researchers have found that whether or not cannabis is legal does not affect the rate at which dogs are hospitalized for ...
OCT 26, 2020
Microbiology
A Network of Fungi Helps Trees Grow
OCT 26, 2020
A Network of Fungi Helps Trees Grow
Trees rely on a network of fungal friends for good health. Communities of trees can share nutrients and other essentail ...
Loading Comments...