Production of juvenile atlantic salmon salmo salar l. and brown trout salmo trutta l. within different sections of a small enriched norwegian river
Bergheim, A.; Hesthagen, T.
Journal of Fish Biology 36(4): 545-562
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-1112 DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.1990.tb03556.x
Growth, density and production of juvenile Atlantic salmon and brown trout were studied in three different sections of the Kvassheimsana River in south-western Norway from 1979 to 1983. Section 1, in the upper part of the river, is located above a waterfall impassable for migratory salmonids and is surrounded by grazing land. Section 2 and 3, in the middle and lower parts of the river, are influenced by agricultural activity. Total nitrogen concentration varied between 250 and 1000 .mu.g l-1 in section 1 and 1500 and 2500 .mu.gl-1 in sections 2 and 3. Total phosphorus (Tot-P) concentrations also increased with decreasing altitude: 19-46 .mu.gl-1 in section 1 and 31-101 .mu.gl-1 in sections 2 and 3. The number of 0+ salmon in sections 2 and 3 varied between 30.1 and 167.8 specimens 100 m-2, with means 90.2 and 95.2 specimens 100 m-2, respectively; the density of 1+ salmon, with mean values of 16.3 and 51.0 specimens 100 m-2, was significantly correlated with the original fry density. The growth rate of 0+ salmon was not inversely related to cohort density, but was significantly so for 1+ salmon. Mean annual salmon production in section 2 was 1595 g 100 m-2 year-1, and in section 3 was 841 g 100 m-2 year-1. A logarithmic function gave the best curve fit between salmon production and mean annual biomass. Thus, production levelled off for the highest values recorded in section 2, and perhaps approached the carrying capacity of the stream. A multiple regression analysis showed that yearly variation in 1+ salmon density was the single factor accounting for most of the total variability in production (60%). Variation in water temperature and nutrient content were not significantly related to variation in fish production. Densities of brown trout were low in all sections (<20 specimens 100 m-2). Fry density was highest in section 3 and parr density in section 1. All age groups of sympatric brown trout grew significantly faster in sections 2 and 3 compared with allopatric brown trout in section 1.