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First report of a sea louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, infestation on juvenile Pink Salmon, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, in nearshore habitat

Morton, A.B.; Williams, R.

Canadian Field-Naturalist 117(4): 634-641

2003


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-3550
DOI: 10.22621/cfn.v117i4.834
Accession: 012092269

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High infestation rates of the Sea Louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) have been reported on juvenile salmonids in Europe since 1989; however, this species has not been reported on juvenile Pacific salmonids until now. Magnitude of Sea Lice infestation was examined in 2001 on juvenile Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) migrating through a British Columbia archipelago. On average, the 751 juvenile Pink Salmon sampled weighed 2.25 g ([plus or minus] 0.039 SE), were infected with 11.3 ([plus or minus] 0.41 SE) Sea Lice per fish and 6.1 ([plus or minus] 0.24SE) Sea Lice per gram host weight. Fully 75.0% of fish were infected at loads equivalent to or higher than the lethal limit reported for much larger Sea Trout (Salmo trutta) post-smolts. Abundance (Kruskal-Wallis statistic = 100.95, p0.0001) and intensity (KW = 70.05, p0.0001) of lice, and mean number of lice/g host weight (K-W = 112.23, p0.0001) were significantly higher in juvenile Pink Salmon in close proximity to salmon farms, than in Pink Salmon distant from salmon farms.

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