Blair, J. M., Hicks, B. J., Pitkethley, R. & Ling, N. (2012). Diet of rainbow trout in Lake Rotoiti: an energetic perspective. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 46(4), 557-565.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7626
We characterised seasonal and ontogenetic changes in diet and prey energy density of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand, to better understand the prey requirements of trout in central North Island lakes. Common smelt (Retropinna retropinna) was the dominant prey item of rainbow trout larger than 200 mm (77.8% of diet by weight), followed by kōura (freshwater crayfish Paranephrops planifrons; 6.3%), common bully (Gobiomorphus cotidianus; 5.5%), and kōaro (Galaxias brevipinnis; 3.4%). Juvenile rainbow trout (<200 mm) consumed amphipods, aquatic and terrestrial insects, oligochaetes, tanaid shrimps, and smelt. Trout consumed kōaro only in autumn and winter; consumption of other species did not vary seasonally. The maximum size of smelt consumed increased with increasing trout size, but trout continued to consume small smelt even as large adults. Consumption of larger prey items (kōaro and kōura) also increased with increasing trout size. This study indicates the importance of smelt for sustaining rainbow trout populations, as predation on other species was relatively low. These findings provide a basis for bioenergetic modelling of rainbow trout populations in lakes of the central North Island of New Zealand.
Taylor & Francis