The food of brown and rainbow trout ( Salmo trutta and S. gairdneri ) in relation to the abundance of drifting invertebrates in a mountain stream
The diet of Salmo gairdneri and S. trutta in a Pyrenean stream was very similar, and was also similar to the percentage composition of the drift but not the benthos. There was a good correlation between diel changes in the amount of food (both numbers and biomass) in the stomachs and diel changes in the abundance of drifting invertebrates. The major feeding period was in the early hours of the night when the trout fed chiefly on benthic invertebrates in the drift. This was the only feeding period in experiments 1 and 2 (mean water temperatures 4.7 and 7.3° C) but in experiment 3 (10.8° C), there was a second feeding period in the day when terrestrial invertebrates and emerging aquatic insects formed a large proportion of the diet. Neither species was consuming a greater amount of food than the other. The weight of food consumed/trout/day increased with water temperature, and was close to the daily food requirements for resting metabolism in experiment 1. for twice resting metabolism (active metabolism) in experiment 2, and for four times resting metabolism in experiment 3. Therefore the energy of the second meal in experiment 3 was available for growth. The effect of temperature, on rates of gastric evacuation was the chief factor which determined the number of meals/day; the availability of food organisms in the drift determined the time of feeding; and the requirements for metabolism (affected by temperature and body weight) determined the amount of energy left for growth.
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