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The effects of fry rearing density on hatchery performance, fin condition, and agonistic behavior of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss fry

The effects of fry rearing density on hatchery performance, fin condition, and agonistic behavior of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss fry

Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 27(3): 264-274

Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss fry were reared at four densities ranging from 10,800 to 43,926 fish/m-3 (9.91 to 37.60 kg/ml) during an initial feeding period of 35 d. Each of the four initial density treatments were then split into high (3,780 fish/m-3) and low (1,890 fish/m-3) density groups and reared in outdoor raceways for an additional 74 d. A necropsy-based general health and condition assessment indicated that hematocrit, plasma protein, and the thymus index were significantly elevated in the outdoor high density group. Changes in these variables were unrelated to the initial rearing density, except for plasma protein which decreased as the initial density increased at low densities. Other necropsy variables indicated normal, healthy fish. Agonistic behavior was assessed at 4, 9 and 13 wk of age by observing the number of aggressive chases in paired and group (five fish) trials. The number of chases generally increased with age, although the difference between 9 and 13 wk was variable. Feeding did not elicit more chases in this study except for 9-wk-old fry. Initial rearing density did not have any impact on the number of chases at 4 or 13 wk, but at 9 wk the number of chases increased with initial density for the group tests. Relative fin length measurements of all fins except the adipose indicated no combination of initial density and outdoor density was superior to another for reducing fin erosion. This study indicated that rainbow trout fry may be reared at initial densities approaching 44,000 fish/m-3 (Piper density index of 1.1) without negatively affecting growth and fin condition or inducing higher levels of agonistic behavior later on.

Accession: 002984917

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-7345.1996.tb00608.x

Download PDF Full Text: The effects of fry rearing density on hatchery performance, fin condition, and agonistic behavior of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss fry

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