Cooke Lab

Lee F.G. Gutowsky


Aquaculture Technician (2001 - 2003) – Fleming College School of Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences – Lindsay ON.

Ecosystem Management Technician and Technology (2003 - 2005) – Fleming College School of Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences – Lindsay, ON.

B.Sc. Honours in Environmental & Resource Science (2005 - 2007) – Trent University, Peterborough, ON.

M.Sc., Biology (2007 - 2009) – Trent University, Peterborough, ON.

M.Sc. Thesis Title: Life history, growth and demographic variation in a highly invasive fish species during its range expansion in the Trent River, Ontario: the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)


Proposed Ph.D. Thesis Title: Predicting the Risk of Entrainment for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in a large hydropower reservoir: An intensive investigation into the movement ecology of a threatened species and its implications for directing dam operation
Summary of Objectives:
i)               determine the risk of entrainment (when fish are unwillingly carried  downstream through intakes and spillways) using a combination of empirical evidence and hydrological modelling 
ii)        describe movement ecology and temporal patterns in thermal distribution
iii)       examine trophic ecology and investigate morphological differences in condition 

Background and summary
The bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) is a large char that historically inhabited much of Western North America until factors including habitat loss and habitat fragmentation left this species threatened throughout its range. Although bull trout are found in relatively stable numbers in British Columbia, increasing energy demands have lead to the creation and expansion of many hydroelectric facilities which may further impact bull trout populations. For example, the Mica dam currently houses four turbines and produces 1.8 GW, however in the coming years the dam will receive two additional 500 MW generating units. The Mica dam has greatly changed the fish habitat in this region by restricting the flow of the Columbia River and creating the 43 200 ha Kinbasket Reservoir. In anticipation of the substantial increase in water diversion potential and the potential to harm native fish populations, Carleton University, The University of Waterloo, The University of Alberta and BC Hydro have partnered to assess the interactions between bull trout and burbot (lota lota) and the Mica power generating facility at Kinbasket Reservoir. To study this interaction and provide detailed three-dimensional movement and thermal ecology on bull trout and burbot over a three year period, our team has installed 44 telemetry receiver stations and surgically implanted acoustic telemetry transmitters into almost 200 adult fish in 2010. Complementary to this course-scale data, in 2011, I will use fine-scale telemetry equipment with rapid spatial updates and sub-metre accuracy to precisely establish movement in the forebay and thus entrainment risk for bull trout. In addition, I am collecting fin clips for trophic status assessment and examining bull trout morphology to investigate the relationship between spawning behaviour, trophic status and the observed differentiation in body condition. Following the completion of these investigations, I hope to provide the most comprehensive description of bull trout movement and thermal ecology, provide a detailed description of the population(s) in Kinbasket Reservoir, demonstrate how fish are affected by dam operation, and help direct reservoir water management to minimize the negative consequences of dam operation on large fishes.



Gutowsky, L.F.G., & Fox, M.G. 2012. Intra-population variability of life-history traits and growth during range expansion of the invasive round goby, Neogobius melanostomus. Fisheries Management and Ecology. 19: 78-88 [pdf, 442 KB]

Gutowsky, L.F.G., & Fox, M.G. 2011. Occupation, body size and sex ratio of round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in established and newly invaded areas in an Ontario river. Hydrobiologia. 671: 27-37 [pdf, 218 KB]

Landsman, S.J., Nguyen, V.M., Gobin, J., Cook, K.V., Gutowsky, L.F.G., Binder, T.R., Lower, N., McLaughlin, R.L., and S.J. Cooke. 2011. A review of fish movement and migration studies in the Laurentian Great Lakes: historical perspectives, management issues, and future research opportunities. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 37: 365-379 [pdf, 370 KB]

Gutowsky, L.F.G., Harrison, P.M., Power, M., and Cooke, S.J. 2011. Injury and immediate mortality associated with recreational troll capture of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in a reservoir in the Kootenay-Rocky Mountain region of British Columbia. Fisheries Research. 109: 379-383 [pdf, 194 KB]

Gutowsky, L.F.G., Brownscombe, J.W., and Fox, M.G. 2011. Angling to estimate the density of adult round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). Fisheries Research 108: 228-231 [pdf, 153 KB]

Raby, G.D., Gutowsky, L.F.G., & Fox, M.G. 2010. Diet composition and consumption rate in round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in its expansion phase in the Trent River, Ontario. Environmental Biology of Fishes 89: 143-150 [pdf, 271 KB]





Contact Info


Office: CTTC 4630
Office phone: 520-2600 ext. 3873
1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, (613) 520-2600