Research Webinar: Nature vs Nurture: How Does Hatchery Rearing Influence Fish Behavior After Release?

Many lake trout populations were wiped out by the mid-1900s across their native range, including in Lake Champlain. Stocking efforts have reintroduced lake trout to many of these lakes, but self-sustaining populations remain rare. Today, the lake trout population in Lake Champlain is a mixture of stocked and naturally-produced (wild) fish – an ongoing success story. Researchers at the University of Vermont study these fish use acoustic telemetry, a technique that tracks tagged animals remotely, to learn more about fish behaviors. In this research webinar, Matt Futia, a PhD candidate with the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory at the University of Vermont, discussed how habitat use differs between stocked and wild lake trout, and how such variation may influence the future of the population.

Matt is a fish ecologist and studies animal behavior and food web interactions with the goal of supporting native species conservation and restoration efforts. Before coming to UVM in 2019, Matt graduated from SUNY Brockport with a bachelor’s and master’s in environmental science and did research on salmon and trout populations across New York state. Lake Champlain Sea Grant and other partners fund Matt's current research.