Why TrentU Master’s Student Scott Blair Cares About Brook Trout

Scott Blair from Newmarket, Ontario, is in the Environmental and Life Sciences(ENLS) program at Trent University.

He is currently studying brook trout, one of the few native trout species to Ontario that have been drastically declining over the past few decades.

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They require pristine environmental conditions along with cold, groundwater-fed streams.

However, these small streams are often neglected during increased urbanization, typically resulting in local extinction of the fish species.

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In order to help protect these remaining populations, Scott is studying brook trout’s seasonal habitat use and movement in urban streams.

This is done by inserting tiny radio transmitters into the fish and following their movement throughout the stream using a specialized receiver.

The overall goal is to inform environmental managers of these crucial areas of stream habitat to protect the brook trout during urbanization.

The project is still underway; however they have already seen that habitat use and movement is dynamic, and therefore must be considered as such when managing these populations with nearby development.

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Scott told us, “Brook trout are an ecologically and culturally important species to much of North America. They are a crucial food source to their food web and provide recreational angling opportunities. By protecting their habitat, we can maintain these services they provide and we can give them a fighting chance from the ultimate end result, local extinction.”

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Scott credits Trent University with the success of his project. He told us, “You truly are not just another number at Trent. The connected environment between students and professors has allowed me to reach an academic potential I never thought was possible!

Thanks for sharing your work with us, Scott, and for caring about conservation.

We wish you the best of luck with the rest of your research!!

trentu

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