Distribution of non-native brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis ) across Norwegian waterbodies – is it an invasive species?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionFauna Norvegica. 2018, 38, 1-8. 10.5324/fn.v38i0.2255
Non-native brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis MITCHILL, 1815) was introduced into Norway in 1883. However, it was not until the late 1970s that this acid-tolerant salmonid species was stocked into many acidified lakes that many populations became established. In 2004, all brook trout stocking in Norway ceased. In this study, we surveyed the distribution of brook trout in Norwegian water bodies. A totally of 202 self-sustaining populations were identified, mostly in unregulated lakes (n=101), streams (n=71) and also to some extent in reservoirs (n=25). Only four populations were found in inland rivers, and one population in a river with Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Localities with brook trout covered a wide range of altitudes and sizes. Analyses of time-series catches in sympatric populations of brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) and brook trout from 12 lakes (1997-2012) revealed a strong decline in brook trout stocks. A similar development in abundance has also emerged from other studies in recent years. Generally, lake-dwelling brook trout is regarded as a low-risk species with respect to invasiveness. However, brook trout/brown trout interactions may be habitat-specific, as brook trout may dominate in small and relatively cold streams.