Brett Johnson, Professor
Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Colorado State Unversity
Brett M. Johnson
and Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
Phone: 970-491-5002; FAX: 970-491-5091;
Full CV: PDF
Brett Johnson is a fisheries ecologist, blending basic and applied ecology at the intersection of fisheries science, fish biology, and aquatic ecology. While exploited fishes may be a focus, Johnson adopts a holistic perspective that includes all kinds of fishes and interdependent organisms, and considers the roles of humans as components of ecosystems.
B.S. Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1983
Ecological Society of America
Research Interests (to lab web site)
I enjoy applying a wide variety of techniques and approaches including field sampling, modeling, field and lab experiments, classical fisheries biology techniques, stable isotopes, eDNA, and otolith microchemistry. Most of my projects benefit from close collaboration with agencies including Colorado Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, and others.
I have become increasingly concerned about the issue of illegal stocking and developed a website devoted to curbing the practice: Illegal Stocking Website.
I draw heavily on my research experience to provide contemporary, interesting and illustrative examples for all of my courses.
Here's a website I developed to help students identify regional fishes: Field Guide to Colorado-Wyoming Fishes.
Here's an outreach tool I developed for Colorado landowners: Pond and stream FAQ
Recent Service and Outreach
Faculty Advisor, CSU 5 Rivers Fly Fishing Club (2016)
Chair, stream fish conservation ecologist search committee (2016)
Member, University Discipline Appeals Board (2015-2017)
Chair, FWCB Scholarship Committee (2014-2016)
Member, FWCB Scholarship Committee (2010-2011)
Member, WCNR Scholarship Committee 2014-2016
Member, Mentoring and Reappointment Committee, Dept. Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, CSU (2005, 2007-2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016)
Chair, Mentoring and Reappointment Committee, Dept. Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, CSU (2010, 2012, 2014)
Chair (Acting), Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Concentration (2011-2012 AY)
Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on Outcomes Assessment, Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, CSU (2003-2010; plan was cited for numerous Best Practices)
Chair, Fishery Biology Major, Dept. Fishery and Wildlife Biology, CSU (2001 - 2007)
Graduate Affairs Committee, Dept. Fishery and Wildlife Biology, CSU (1995-2007)
Invited Technical Expert, Walleye ecology and management, Cherry Creek Basin Water Quality Authority (2013-2015)
Invited Technical Expert, Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta Predation Panel, Delta Science Program and California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (2013)
Invited Technical Expert, Recreational Fisheries Management, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2010-2012)
Expert Advisor, Emerging Young Research Group on Social-Ecology of Fisheries Research (Besatzfisch-Project, Berlin, Germany, 2011-2014)
Scientific Advisory Board, World Recreational Fishing Conference (2011-present); 2011, Berlin, Germany; 2014, Campinas, Brazil.
Chair, Glen Canyon Dam TCD Risk Analysis, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO (2011)
Panelist, Aquatic Wildlife Researcher examination, CO Division of Wildlife (2007)
Founding member, Illegal Stocking Task Force, CO-WY Chapter AFS (2007-2010)
Research proposal reviewer: Alaska Sea Grant, Cooperative Marine Education and Research Program, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, National Science Foundation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station, U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation for the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, Wisconsin Sea Grant
Peer reviewer: Annales Zoologici Fennici, Archiv fur Hydrobiologie, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Ecological Applications, Ecology of Freshwater Fish, Fish and Fisheries, Fisheries, Hydrobiologia, Journal of Environmental Management, Journal of Fish Biology, Journal of Great Lakes Research, Journal of Plankton Research, Lake and Reservoir Management, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Southwestern Naturalist, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Recent Awards and Honors
2012 Best Article Nominee. Lake & Reservoir Management (Johnson and Martinez 2012)
2006 Best Presentation Award, Colorado-Wyoming
Chapter of the American Fisheries Society
Recent Publications (complete list of publications here)
Silver, D. B., B. M. Johnson, W. M. Pate, K. R. Christianson, J. Tipton, J. Sherwood, B. Smith, and Y. Hao. 2016. Effect of net size on estimates of abundance, size, age, and sex ratio of Mysis diluviana. Journal of Great Lakes Research 42:731-737.
Wolf, J. M., B. M. Johnson, D. B. Silver, W. M. Pate, and K. R. Christianson. 2016. Freezing and fractionation: effects of preservation on carbon and nitrogen stable isotope values of some limnetic organisms. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 30:562-568.
Arlinghaus, R, K. Lorenzen, B. M. Johnson, S. J. Cooke, and I. G. Cowx. 2015. Management of freshwater fisheries: addressing habitat, people and fish. Pages 557-579 in J.F. Craig, editor. Freshwater fisheries ecology. Blackwell Science, UK.
Cooke, S. J., R. Arlinghaus, B. M. Johnson, and I. G. Cowx. 2015. Recreational fisheries in inland waters. Pages 449-465 in J. F. Craig, editor. Freshwater fisheries ecology. Blackwell Science, UK.
Johnson, B. M., J. Lepak and B. A. Wolff. 2015. Effects of prey assemblage on mercury bioaccumulation in a piscivorous sport fish. Science of the Total Environment 506-507: 330-337.
Pate, W., B. M. Johnson, J. Lepak, and D. Brauch. 2014. Managing for coexistence of Kokanee and trophy Lake Trout in a montane reservoir. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 34:908-922.
Wolff, B.A., B.M. Johnson, and C.M. Landress. 2013. Classification of hatchery and wild fish using natural geochemical signatures in otoliths, fin rays, and scales of an endangered Catostomid. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 70:1775-1784.
Wolff, B.A., B.M. Johnson, A.R. Breton, P.J. Martinez, and D.L. Winkelman. 2012. Origins and movements of invasive piscivores determined from the strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) ratio of otoliths. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 69:724-739.
Lepak, J.M., M.B. Hooten, and B.M. Johnson. 2012. The influence of external subsidies on diet, growth and Hg concentrations of freshwater sport fish: implications for management and fish consumption advisories. Ecotoxicology 21:1878-1888.
Lepak, J.M., K-D. Kinzli, E.R. Fetherman, W.M. Pate, A.G. Hansen, E.I. Gardunio, C.N. Cathcart, W.L. Stacy, Z.E. Underwood, M.M. Brandt, C.A. Myrick, and B.M. Johnson. 2012. Manipulation of sport fish growth to reduce mercury bioaccumulation on a whole-system scale. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 69: 122-135.
Johnson, B.M. and P.J. Martinez. 2012. Hydroclimate mediates effects of a keystone species in a coldwater reservoir. Lake and Reservoir Management 28:70-83.
Arlinghaus, R., S.J. Cooke and B.M. Johnson. 2012. Technical guidelines for responsible fisheries: recreational fisheries. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.
Busch, S., B.M. Johnson, and T. Mehner. 2011. Energetic costs and benefits of cyclic habitat switching: a bioenergetics model analysis of diel vertical migration in coregonids. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 68:706-717.
Johnson, B.M., R. Arlinghaus, and P.J. Martinez. 2009. Are we doing all we can to stem the tide of illegal fish stocking? Fisheries 34(8): 389-394.
Gibson-Reinemer, D.K., B.M. Johnson, P.J. Martinez, D.L. Winkelman, A. E. Koenig, and J.D. Woodhead. 2009. Elemental signatures in otoliths of hatchery trout: distinctiveness and utility for detecting origins and movement. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 66:513-524.
Johnson, B.M., P.J. Martinez, J.H. Hawkins, and K.R. Bestgen. 2008. Ranking predatory threats by nonnative fishes in the Yampa River, Colorado via bioenergetics modeling. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 28:1941-1953.
Arlinghaus, R., B.M. Johnson, and C. Wolter. 2008. The past, present and future role of limnology in freshwater fisheries science. International Review of Hydrobiology 93: 541-549.
Whitledge, G. W., B. M. Johnson, P. J. Martinez, and A. M. Martinez. 2007. Sources of nonnative centrarchids in the upper Colorado River revealed by stable isotope and microchemical analyses of otoliths. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 136: 1263-1275.
Beauchamp, D. A., D. H. Wahl, and B. M. Johnson. 2007. Predator-Prey Interactions. Chapter 16 In M. L. Brown and C. S. Guy, editors. Analysis and interpretation of freshwater fisheries data.American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.
Crockett, H. J., B. M. Johnson, P. J. Martinez, and D. Brauch. 2006. Modeling target strength distributions to improve hydroacoustic estimation of Lake Trout population size. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 135:1095-1108.
Brett Johnson 05/02/16