A banger of a paper on beaver dams and fish passage...

A banger is a really good song, as in, "hey turn the radio up, this banger is the best song on the record." My friend and colleague Ryan Lokteff, who is oddly enough, also a talented musician, just put out a banger of his own. This one's not a song, but a paper with Joe Wheaton (USU) and Brett Roper (USFS) and it came out today in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. Ryan looked at how well three trout species, brook trout, Bonneville cutthroat trout and brown trout, all pass beaver dams in a headwater stream of northern Utah. He did this using repeat electro-surveys over several years and at over a dozen beaver dams near Spawn Creek and Temple Fork, UT.

Lead field tech and author, Ryan Lokteff, doing work on Spawn Creek - summer 2012.
What Ryan found was a. trout can move through dams b. species that evolved with dams move through them more often and in pulses that correspond to their life cycles. c. trout with strong habitat preferences may not move through dams as much. There are serious implications for fish habitat conservation and restoration in Ryan's work, and also some potential to explain the niche overlap of these species in montane headwater systems. Check out the whole dang thing:

Ryan Lokteff doing some angler surveys above a beaver dam - Temple Fork, Cache National Forest, UT

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