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Transactions of the American Fisheries Society

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Abstract/ Summary

Hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon Salmo salar smolts produced from captive-reared Dennys River and sea-run Penobscot River broodstock are released into their source rivers in Maine. The adult return rate of Dennys smolts is comparatively low, and disparity in smolt quality between stocks resulting from genetic or broodstock rearing effects is plausible. Smolt behavior and physiology were assessed during sequential 14-d trials conducted in seminatural annular tanks with circular flow. "Migratory urge'' (downstream movement) was monitored remotely using passive integrated transponder tags, and gill Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity was measured at the beginning and end of the trials to provide an index of smolt development. The migratory urge of both stocks was low in early April, increased 20-fold through late May, and declined by the end of June. The frequency and seasonal distribution of downstream movement were independent of stock. In March and April, initial gill Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activities of Penobscot River smolts were lower than those of Dennys River smolts. For these trials, however, Penobscot River smolts increased enzyme activity after exposure to the tank, whereas Dennys River smolts did not, resulting in similar activities between stocks at the end of all trials. There was no clear relationship between migratory urge and gill Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity. Gill Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity of both stocks increased in advance of migratory urge and then declined while migratory urge was increasing. Maximum movement was observed from 2 h after sunset through 1 h after sunrise but varied seasonally. Dennys River smolts were slightly more nocturnal than Penobscot River smolts. These data suggest that Dennys and Penobscot River stocks are not markedly different in either physiological or behavioral expression of smolting.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Spencer RC, Zydlewski J, Zydlewski G. Migratory Urge and Gill Na(+),K(+)-Atpase Activity of Hatchery-Reared Atlantic Salmon Smolts from the Dennys and Penobscot River Stocks, Maine. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 2010;139(4): 947-956.




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