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Comparisons between hatchery and wild steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) smolts: physiology and habitat use



Comparisons between hatchery and wild steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) smolts: physiology and habitat use



Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63(7): 1627-1638



Hatchery steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) smolts, progeny of a newly founded native origin broodstock, were released into Abernathy Creek, Washington, in 2003 and 2004. After release, saltwater tolerance, gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity, and habitat use were compared. A subsample of hatchery and wild steelhead trout were implanted with 23 mm passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags each year. PIT-tagged migrants were used for physiological comparisons. Hatchery fish were significantly larger than wild fish. Hatchery migrants expressed significantly lower levels of gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity than wild migrants. After a 24 h seawater challenge, hatchery migrants had significantly higher plasma osmolality and (Na+) than wild migrants. Microhabitat use of PIT-tagged hatchery and wild individuals in a control (wild fish only) and effect (hatchery and wild fish) site were compared before and after the introduction of hatchery fish. No difference was detected in hatchery and wild smolt habitat use. Wild fish did not change their habitat use after the introduction of hatchery fish. Although hatchery and wild fish differed in smolt physiology, differences in short-term use of freshwater habitat were not detected, and hatchery fish did not appear to displace wild fish.

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Accession: 012773956

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DOI: 10.1139/f06-061


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