Salmonflies in the West
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The salmonfly (Pteronarcys californica) is a large-bodied aquatic insect that lives in rivers for 3 to 5 years before emerging onto land as an adult. The salmonflyhatch is iconic, drawing anglers from around the world, and represents a major connection between water and land. During the hatch, salmonflies are a critical food source for trout, birds, and many other predators. Salmonflies are threatened by human activities however; threats to salmonflies and other stoneflies include warming water temperature, increasing fine sediment,and changesto suitable flows and food supply. We study factors that influence salmonfly populations and their emergence patterns, with a focus on the Madison and Gallatin Rivers in southwestern Montana. In collaboration with researchers across Montana and beyond, we use historical records, field studies, and lab experiments to link knowledge of salmonfly ecology with potential conservation strategies to help maintain populationsof this incredibleinsect into the future.
Check out the publications page for additional information.
- Albertson, L. K., M. A. Briggs, Z. Maguire, S. Swart, W. F. Cross, C. W. Twining, J. S. Wesner, C. Baxter, and D. M. Walters. 2022. Dietary composition and fatty acid content of giant salmonflies (Pteronarcys californica) in two Rocky Mountain rivers. Ecosphere 13(1):e3904. [View as PDF]
- Malison, R. L, A. G. DelVecchia, H. A. Woods, B. K. Hand, G. Luikart, and J. A. Stanford. 2020. Tolerance of aquifer stoneflies to repeated hypoxia exposure and oxygen dynamics in an alluvial aquifer. Journal of Experimental Biology 223: jeb225623. [View as PDF].
- Anderson, H. E., L. K. Albertson, and D. M. Walters. 2019. Thermal variability drives synchronicity of an aquatic insect resource pulse. Ecosphere 10(8):e02852. [View as PDF]
- Anderson, H. E., L. K. Albertson, and D. M. Walters. 2019. Water temperature drives variability in salmonfly abundance, emergence timing, and body size. River Research and Applications 35(7):1013-1022. [View as PDF]
- Stagliano, D. 2010. Evaluation of salmonflies in Montana's Rivers: Are statewide populations really declining? Report. Montana Natural Heritage Program. [View as PDF]
Dr. Lindsey Albertson, Montana State University
Dr. Colden Baxter, Idaho State University
Jackson Birrell, University of Montana
Dr. Wyatt Cross, Montana State University
Michael MacDonald, Montana State University
Zach Maguire, Montana State University
Dr. Rachel Malison, Flathead Lake Biological Station
Dr. Jamie McEvoy, Montana State University
Jade Ortiz, Montana State University
Alzada Roche, Montana State University
Jose Sanchez-Ruiz, Montana State University
Dr. Alisha Shah, Kellog Biological Station
David Stagliano, Montana Biological Survey
Dr. Lily Twining, Eawag
Dr. Christine Verhille, Montana State University
Dr. David Walters, USGS
Dr. Jeff Wesner, University of South Dakota
Dr. Art Woods, University of Montana