Understanding behavioural diversity and its link to migration in Lake Superior brook trout




Sicoly, Lauren

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University of Guelph


I used crosses between migrant and stream resident brook trout (Salvelius fontinalis) from Lake Superior to test for phenotypic and genetic variation in personality traits hypothesized to be tied to migratory behaviour. Two ecotypes of brook trout originate in Lake Superior: a large-bodied ecotype that migrates to the lake and a small-bodied ecotype that remains stream resident. The migrant form is of conservation concern. In 2011, migrant and resident adult brook trout were captured in the field and crossed to generate 26 families. In spring and summer of 2012 (young of the year) and 2013 (yearling), I quantified personality measures of risk-taking, general activity, sociability, and propensity to disperse in ten fish from each family. YOY and yearlings displayed repeatable, heritable differences in behaviours. The migratory status of parents was not related to the behaviour of offspring, suggesting that migratory behaviour in brook trout is not influenced by personality.



Lake Superior brook trout, Migrant, Stream resident, Genetic variation, Personality traits