In the early 1900s, brown trout and rainbow trout were introduced to southern South America for recreational fishing and early aquaculture initiatives.
In the early 1900s, brown trout and rainbow trout were introduced to southern South America for recreational fishing and early aquaculture initiatives. About 40 years later, American beaver were introduced in the same region to develop a felt industry.
That history intrigued Ivan Arismendi, an aquatic ecologist at Oregon State University. He is originally from Chile but since 2007 has lived in Oregon, where the beaver is the official state animal and the mascot of the university that employs him. He wondered what impact the introduced beaver in Chile had on the health of the introduced brown trout.
Through field work in a remote area of Tierra del Fuego, Chile, Arismendi and his team determined that dam building by the beaver modifies the aquatic environment, providing a wider range of more energy-dense food sources for brown trout. This results in improved growth of the brown trout, they concluded.
“We show that beavers indirectly help with the growth of trout potentially improving their survival,” said Arismendi, an assistant professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Continue reading at Oregon State University.
Image via Oregon State University.