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The Threat to Atlantic Salmon Caused by the Invading Smallmouth Bass

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1 The Threat to Atlantic Salmon Caused by the Invading Smallmouth Bass
By: Andrew Dang, Kaitlyn Seow, Priya Khoral, Rajat Goswami, Rashiq Shahad, Sravanthi Dornadula, Zoe Hoskin

2 The Atlantic Salmon– Salmo Salar Kingdom - Animalia Phylum - Chordata
Kingdom - Animalia Phylum - Chordata Class - Osteichythes Order - Salmoniformes Family - Salmonidae Genus - Salmo Species - Salmo salar

3 More information on the Atlantic Salmon:
It is at risk due to invasive species It is a Cold Water Fish Average Length – 25-70cm Average Weight – kg Distinguished by: silvery colour, spotted and deformed during the spawning season, small scales, a round dorsal fin, comparatively large size, bodies are long and thin

4 Habitat and Development
They have a different habitat for each stage in their life cycle There are two types of Atlantic Salmon – the best-known migrates from its spawning location to the Atlantic Ocean and returns to lay its eggs, other type never travels to the ocean – commonly referred to as ‘landlocked’ Oceanic salmon travels down-river to Atlantic Ocean, landlocked travel into an inland lake Both become sexually mature after several years in lake/ocean They undergo several physical changes and force themselves upriver back to their breeding ground First few years of life, young salmon remain in the inland water where they were born later, develop into “smolts”, oceanic/landlocked salmon take different path Oceanic salmon have harder time to return to river – results in decrease in salmon population

5 Habitat and Development Continued
In Canada, the salmon spawn in October/November, depending on the region When migrating upstream, they must surmount obstacles (natural and man-made) to reach the spawning grounds “Spawning site is usually a gravel-bottom riffle area above or below a pool” Female will dig a nest with her caudal fin, and when she is finished spawning, she will cover the eggs with gravel The eggs hatch in about 110 days, young emerge from gravel in May/June young remain in the river/stream until they are about 65mm long Age which they leave for the ocean varies depending on region, 2-3 years in the Martime, 4-8 years in the Ungava region

6 Salmon Ova Spawning season for salmon generally start midway through August and ends in November (approximately 3 months long) Female salmon digs a type of nest with her fins and deposits the eggs into it so she may cover the eggs with gravel Salmon eggs hatch within 110 days Salmon eggs hatch only if the water temperature is warm enough which is usually sometime in early spring

7 Spawning Female Salmon
Atlantic salmon return to the river that they were spawned in even after leaving to the ocean when it is not spawning season Female salmon may carry and deposit eggs/lb of body weight Atlantic Salmon eggs are usually pale orange and have a diameter of 5-7 mm

8 Spawning Male Salmon During spawning season, male salmon darken to low brown tones to red This is to appeal to female salmon

9 Importance of Nesting Grounds
Because salmon are frequently moving to their original spawning area, if it is changed even in the slightest because of pollution or construction, this could result in the decrease of the salmon population Even the lowering of water levels may effect salmon numbers This decreases movement and the number of salmon able to pass through the rivers at once as well as leaving salmon eggs to become vulnerable

10 Atlantic Salmon Feeding
They feed on crustaceans and fishes such as smelt, herring, and small mackerel and cod Young salmon in streams feed mainly on aquatic insect larvae Distribution of the Atlantic Salmon Native species to the North Atlantic Ocean In Canada, they are found throughout Newfoundland, Labrador, the Maritime Provinces, eastern Quebec, and the Ungava region of Northern Quebec Introduced in the Pacific southwest and the Pacific southeast number of landlocked populations throughout the distribution They are now at risk because of competition from other fish, due to overlapping niches

11 What is a Niche? In ecology, a niche is a term describing the relational position of or population in its ecosystem to each other. In this case, the niches of the salmon and the invading bass are overlapping

12 An organism’s niche is unique to its environment
An organism’s niche is unique to its environment. However, when an invasive species enters the environment, this poses a huge threat to the pre-existing organisms. This causes an increase in competition for survival thus one species will have to dominate over the other. As a result, the equilibrium in the ecosystem will be imbalanced therefore jeopardizing survival rates for all other organisms.

13 Different Niches a Fish can Occupy
Water Temperature (°C) Water Salinity (ppt) Vegetation Distribution Habitat Specifics Water temperature test - Bay of Fundy

14 Temperature/Salinity
Atlantic Salmon – When at its adult stage, the Atlantic Salmon has a temperature tolerance range from 8°C - 23°C Smallmouth Bass - 4°C °C Salinity of Water: Atlantic Salmon – Tolerance at 35.5 ppt Smallmouth Bass – Tolerance at 24.4 ppt

15 Vegetation Types of Vegetation
Atlantic salmon - Feed on a variety of organisms including crustaceans and fishes, such as smelt, herring and small mackerel and cod.  Smallmouth bass – Feed is mainly composed of insects, crayfish and fishes. 

16 Distribution Distribution:
The Atlantic salmon is native to the basin of the North Atlantic Ocean. In Canada, the Atlantic salmon occurs naturally throughout Newfoundland, Labrador, the Maritime Provinces, eastern Quebec and the Ungava region of northern Quebec. The Smallmouth Bass can be found in southern Nova Scotia, southern and western New Brunswick, southern Quebec.  Map of the Maritimes (Canada)

17 Habitat Specifics The Atlantic salmon is a cold-water species and like most migratory fishes, it has a different habitat for each stage of its life history. Marine Atlantic salmon return from the sea to freshwater streams to spawn. The Smallmouth bass is a warm-water fish species, usually found in rocky and sandy areas of lakes and rivers in moderately shallow water and near rocks of shoals or submerged logs.  Because the bass is an invasive species whose niche overlaps with the salmon’s, competition has ensued

18 What are Invasive Species?

19 Other Problems Caused by these species include:
Invasive species: Species of animals that are released into an environment where they do not normally belong. It disrupts the natural balance of it’s ecosystem and result in the elimination of populations in the area and or their food source. Other Problems Caused by these species include: The spread of disease An increase in the number of parasites They create competition for food sources They occupy space and other resources, disrupting existing habitats

20 Invasive Species to Atlantic Salmon Include:
Rainbow Trout Didymosphenia geminata (type of Algae) Small Mouth Bass, Large Mouth Bass, Pike Rainbow Trout The most concerning of the invasive species affecting Atlantic Salmon in New Brunswick’s Miramichi Lake, however, is the smallmouth bass.

21 Micropterus Dolomieui
The Smallmouth Bass – Micropterus Dolomieui Kingdom - Animalia Phylum - Chordata Class - Actinopterygii Order - Perciformes Family - Centrarchidae Genus - Micropterus Species - M. dolomieui

22 More information on the Smallmouth Bass:
It is a warm water fish species Lives in lakes and rivers (shallow) Eats insects, crayfish and fishes Spawns from late May to early July Males build nests in shallow sandy, rocky area Male fecundity' is the term for number of eggs in a nest

23 History of the Species:
“They have been moved all over the United States since 1825, when construction of the Erie Canal extended their range into central New York state. ” “Studies of introduced smallmouth bass have already shown that they have devastated trout populations on the East Coast. Tahoe's lake, brown and rainbow trout could also be in jeopardy. The alien fish could hamper efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to re-introduce native Lahontan trout to the Sierra lake.” Invasive qualities of the Species: Smallmouth bass are highly aggressive They endanger water clarity by “excreting nutrients that cause algae blooms” An example of where this occurs is Lake Tahoe Water clarity is often measured by planting a white disk in the lake at a certain depth and seeing how long it is visible for

24 What caused the species to invade?
The bass were likely introduced to Miramichi Lake located in New Brunswick: a prime trout and Atlantic salmon habitat It connects to the outlet of Lake Brook, 5km long and flows into the Main Southwest Miramichi River. Miramichi River extends for 20km

25 Why is this a problem? Miramichi Lake
Small Mouth Bass are known to be prized fish for their aggressive behaviour. The fishing industry around Miramichi Lake is centred mainly around trout and salmon The changes in food chains caused by a decline in Atlantic Salmon would affect not only the lake, but all of the rivers it feeds, and even the oceans, as adult salmon migrate there. This would become an international problem

26 Then why did it happen? It is unknown how Small Mouth Bass was introduced into the lake but it is believed someone moved the species from one body of water to another. This is illegal in the Province of New Brunswick and can result in a fine of $ However, fishermen have been known to undertake in the activity for sportive fishing purposes and to catch fish not readily available in the area.

27 More Information on INVASIVE SPECIES

28 Invasive species are plants, animals, aquatic life and micro-organisms that outcompete native species when introduced outside of their natural environment and threaten Canada’s ecosystems, economy and society.

29 Invasive species generally share common characteristics which makes them difficult to control.
Higher rate of reproduction Fewer natural predators Ability to thrive in different environments

30 Introducing and Spreading Invasive Species
Invasive species are a cost of globalization. They are introduced and spread through various ways: Goods such as firewood, plant products or wood packaging. Live food imports Aquarium and Horticultural imports Vehicles such as aircraft, commercial and recreational boats. Ballast water from large ships Diseases in wildlife, which spread rapidly over wide areas


32 Federal Law Fisheries Act Canada Wildlife Act
Forestry Act Canadian National Parks Act Department of Natural Resources Act Fisheries Act Canada Shipping Act Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Canadian Environmental Protection Act The Canadian government has taken and continues to take active measures to prevent the spread of invasive species. There are a number of acts in favor of these measures: Oceans Act Pest Control Products Act Regulation of International and Interprovincial Act

33 An Invasive Alien Species Strategy for Canada aims to reduce the risk of invasive species to the environment, economy and society, and to promote environmental values such as biodiversity and sustainability.

34 Goals To prevent the harmful intentional and unintentional introduction of invasive species to Canada To detect and identify new invaders; To respond rapidly to new invaders upon detection; and To manage established and spreading invaders through eradication containment and control The Canadian government sustains a clear set of goals to outline present actions as well as future acts.

35 Our Responsibility (General)
Many invasive species are not easily visible to the naked eye. Leave natural items- like animals, plants, seeds, insects, wood products, soil and water in their natural habitats to avoid the introduction and spread the invasive species. Often simple actions do not seem to have large affects but when it is regarding the environment- especially the water system can have a damaging effect. The connection of global water systems results in any alien species entering native environments.

36 Our Responsibility (General)
Plants, animals and aquatic life bought on the internet or in a store can impact Canada’s ecosystem if they accidentally escape or if you can no longer care for them. With no natural predators they could overwhelm the ecosystem in which they are released. Learn about invasive species and ballast water and the Canadian Ballast water program- educate yourself and community.

37 Do not release fish into drainage system from which it did not originate.
Do not transport water from one system to another, as it may contain unseen parasites or larvae that could have damaging effects in new waters.

38 Take preventative measures to prevent climate change
Take preventative measures to prevent climate change. Climate charge will have dramatic impacts on native coldwater fishes. Protect lakes (especially smaller lakes) because they are more likely to contain more stressful abiotic conditions such as increased water temperatures and lower oxygen levels. Climate change has dramatic impacts on water temperatures that effect the migratory routes as well increase the number of habitable areas for small mouth bass.

39 Two Methods on Dealing With Invasive Species:
Actively (after the problem) Or Proactively (before the problem)

40 Actively: “As there is only one exit waterway from Miramichi Lake, a barrier was erected to monitor all fish going in and out of the lake and selectively remove any small-mouth bass.” – Nelson Poirier Electrofishing (the process of electrifying water to stun the fishes, then touring the area to remove smallmouth bass) Both are intended as non-lethal methods

41 Actively Continued: A more extreme method – as used in some Ontario lakes and BC lakes – is to apply a chemical called rotenone to the lake, killing all species. Then only native species are reintroduced

42 Proactively: Don’t buy invasive species as pets
Dealing with Invasive Species Proactively Don’t buy invasive species as pets Follow the governments fishing laws

43 In Conclusion: Regardless of how cut off we seem from invasive species, they do affect us via industry and laws put in place to manage them It is our responsibility to do what we can to stop the spread of invasive species and protect those that are vulnerable

44 Bibliography Animal Facts about Salmon (2011). Retrieved from Asf's river notes offers latest salmon run information. (2000). Retrieved from Atlantic Salmon (2011). Retrieved from Atlantic salmon. (2010, July 9). Retrieved from saumonatlantique-eng.htm Atlantic salmon - salmo salar. (2003, January 22). Retrieved from Atlantic salmon fishing on the miramichi river . (2008). Retrieved from Beautiful rainbow trout fish picture . (2011). Retrieved from Coates, Peter A.. American perceptions of immigrant and invasive species: strangers on the land. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. Fishing atlantic salmon. (2011). Retrieved from Issues - invasive species. (2011). Retrieved from Lake tahoe: smallmouth bass threatens native fish. (2011). Retrieved from bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/16/BASK1KNS4A.DTL "Mathews/van Holde/Ahern 3rd Edition." Pearson | Higher Education. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Aug < Mooney, Harold A., and Richard J. Hobbs. Invasive species in a changing world: a project of SCOPE, the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2000. New brunswick lodges and resorts vacations. (2000). Retrieved from

45 Bibliography Continued
Ontario – Great Lakes Area Fact Sheets (Atlantic Salmon) (2010, July 9). Retrieved from feuilletsinfos-ogla-rglo/atlanticsalmon-saumonatlantique-eng.htm Sandlund, O. T., Peter Johan Schei, and Åslaug Viken. Invasive species and biodiversity management . Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic, Salmon at Griffin Lake Lodge (2011). Retrieved from Salmon Facts (2011). Retrieved from Smallmouth bass. (2009). Retrieved from rglo/smallmouthbass-achiganpetitebouche-eng.htm Smallmouth Bass in the Miramichi (2010). Retrieved from miramichi&catid=36:threats&Itemid=29 Smallmouth bass jeopardize miramichi system. (2008, October 15). Retrieved from "Small Mouth Bass Threaten NB's Atlantic Salmon." nbaquaticinvasives. N.p., 28 Mar Web. 30 Aug < salmon&catid=53:news&Itemid Social fish. (2008). Retrieved from Threats to Salmon (2010). Retrieved from "TWRA - East Tennessee - Reservoir Fisheries Electrofishing Surveys." TWRA - East Tennessee Reservoir Fish Management - TNFISH.ORG. Reservoir Fisheries Management Program, n.d. Web. 30 Aug <

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