Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Alaska
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Alaska Project

Lake trout otoliths as indicators of past climate patterns and growth in Arctic lakes

August 2014 - May 2016


Participating Agencies

  • Alaska Climate Science Center
An otolith from an Arctic coastal plain lake trout with age increments

The effects of climate change on freshwater ecosystems are amplified in high-latitude regions, however, due to the remote location of Arctic Alaska climate data are limited. Predictions have indicated that warming temperatures owing to climate change could increase fish growth, but the magnitude and factors influencing these changes remain uncertain. This project was a collaboration between the University of Alaska Fairbanks, USGS Alaska Science Center, and the Bureau of Land Management. This study demonstrated the utility of biochronology techniques to estimate past climate patterns in remote regions, as well as provided valuable knowledge regarding growth-environment relationships for Lake Trout. In turn, this information can be used to better understand the effects of a changing environment in sensitive Arctic lake ecosystems.

Presentations Presentation Date
Torvinen, E., Falke, J., Arp, C., Whitman, M., Adams, J. and C. Zimmerman. 2015. Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) otoliths as biochronological indicators of recent climate patterns in Arctic lakes. Alaska Chapter American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Homer, Alaska, 4-6 November, 2015. November 2015
Torvinen, E., Falke, J., Arp, C., Sutton, T., and C. Zimmerman. 2017. Using Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush) otoliths to recreate past patterns of recent climate and growth in Arctic lakes. Alaska Chapter American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Fairbanks, Alaska, 19-23 March, 2017. March 2017
Falke, J., Sparks, M., Torvinen, E., and P. Westley. 2017. Climate vulnerability and salmonids in Alaska: hind- and forecasting freshwater growth and phenology across species and habitats. Western Division American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Missoula, Montana, 23-25 May, 2017. May 2017