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Spawning migration of wild and supplementary stocked landlocked atlantic salmon (Salmo Salar)
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences. (Naturresurs rinnande vatten)
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences. (Naturresurs rinnande vatten)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8738-8815
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Biology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3191-7140
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences. (Naturresurs rinnande vatten)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2633-4178
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2016 (English)In: Rivers Research and Applications: an international journal devoted to river research and management, ISSN 1535-1459, E-ISSN 1535-1467, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 383-389Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Upstream migration by adult salmonids is impeded by dams in many regulated rivers, as is the case for landlocked Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, in the River Klarälven, Sweden. There, the salmon cannot reach the spawning grounds due to the presence of eight dams. Hence, hatchery-reared smolts are released downstream of the dams, and upstream migrating spawners are caught in a trap at the lowermost dam before transported by truck to the spawning grounds past the dams. To identify the spawning grounds and compare the behavior of wild and hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon during upstream migration and spawning, 34 wild and 28 hatchery-reared, radio-tagged Atlantic salmon were followed during their spawning migration from August to October 2011. Half (50%) of the hatchery fish, but only 11,8% of the wild fish ended up as fallbacks, i.e. they migrated past the first downstream power station, and did not spawn. A significantly higher proportion (21.4%) of hatchery- reared salmon moved in an erratic way, with several up and down stream movements, when compared to the wild salmon (5.9%). When looking at the salmon that stayed in the river (exc. fallbacks), wild individuals exhibited a holding behavior (little or no movements before presumed spawning) more often (86.7%) than the reared ones (50%). The wild salmon also held position (and presumably spawned) for longer time (25.4 days) than the reared salmon (16.1 days). Reared salmon held position, on average, 10 km further upstream than wild salmon, passing the presumed best-quality spawning habitat. The migration speed (average 17.4 km/day) between two logger stations did not differ between wild and reared fish or between sexes. Our results suggest that the reproductive success of hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon is relatively low and their capacity as supplementary spawners to the wild population in the Klarälven, is probably small.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2016. Vol. 32, no 3, p. 383-389
Keywords [en]
Salmo salar, supplementary stocking, spawning, migratory behaviour, landlocked, telemetry
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-35930DOI: 10.1002/rra.2870ISI: 000372354700014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-35930DiVA, id: diva2:808646
Available from: 2015-04-29 Created: 2015-04-29 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Conservation of landlocked Atlantic salmon in a regulated river: Behaviour of migratory spawners and juveniles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conservation of landlocked Atlantic salmon in a regulated river: Behaviour of migratory spawners and juveniles
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Hydropower dams represent one of the major threats to river ecosystems today. The dams block migratory routes in many rivers, which is problematic for migratory fish species. Trap-and-transport may be an alternative to fish passage solutions, as a strategy to compensate for lost river connectivity. Stocking of hatchery fish is another mitigating measure often used to compensate for reduced yields in fisheries, but also as supportive breeders in declining populations.

 

In this thesis, I report the results from radio-telemetry studies where the behavior of migrating Atlantic salmon spawners has been investigated in a regulated river. I also studied the function and success of using hatchery fish as supportive breeders and if there are any effects of migratory timing on migratory success. Further, I evaluated upstream passage performance by Atlantic salmon and brown trout at fishways in rivers Klarälven, Sweden and Gudbrandslågen, Norway. The goal was to determine if prior fishway experience had an effect on passage success. I identified three problems associated with the current river management, namely the high incidence of fallbacks among the early migrating salmon, the negative effects of high river flow and prior experience on fishway efficacy and that the use of hatchery-reared fish as supportive breeders have little, if any, positive effect on reproduction. Finally, I examined the competitive interactions that may occur when reintroducing Atlantic salmon to areas with native grayling and brown trout. I found no evidence of Atlantic salmon affecting grayling or brown trout. Instead, Atlantic salmon were dominated by the other two species, which indicates that reintroduction of salmon may not be successful, especially if habitat diversity is constrained.

 

Conservation and management of migratory salmonids requires an understanding of their ecology and life-histories. In the regulated river Klarälven, populations of landlocked Atlantic salmon and migratory brown trout have declined due to river exploitation. The results presented in this thesis originate from concerns regarding salmonid conservation in regulated rivers, with a focus on the difficulties migratory spawners may face in these altered environments.

Abstract [en]

In this thesis, I report the results from radio-telemetry studies where the behavior and success of migrating Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) spawners has been investigated in a regulated river. I have also studied the function of using hatchery fish as supportive breeders and evaluated the upstream passage performance by Atlantic salmon and brown trout (Salmo trutta) at fishways in the River Klarälven, Sweden and Gudbrandslågen, Norway.

I identified three problems associated with management in a regulated river, namely the high incidence of fallbacks among the early migrating salmon, the negative effects of high river flow and prior experience on fishway efficacy and that the use of hatchery-reared fish as supportive breeders have little, if any, positive effect on reproduction.

Finally, I examined the competitive interactions that may occur when reintroducing Atlantic salmon to areas with native grayling (Thymallus thymallus) and brown trout.

Conservation and management of migratory salmonids requires an understanding of ecology and life-histories. The results presented in this thesis originate from concerns regarding salmonid conservation in regulated rivers, with a focus on the difficulties migratory spawners may face in these altered environments. The results of my research can be applied to other regulated systems, particularly those with trap and transport solutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2019. p. 51
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2019:7
Keywords
Atlantic salmon, conservation, migration, spawning, hydropower, competition, juveniles, brown trout, hatchery reared, fallback, delay
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-71333 (URN)978-91-7867-002-4 (ISBN)978-91-7867-007-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-04-12, Sjöströmssalen 1B309, Karlstad Universitet, Karlstad, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-03-22 Created: 2019-02-22 Last updated: 2019-05-08Bibliographically approved

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Hagelin, AnnaCalles, OlleGreenberg, LarryPiccolo, John J.Bergman, Eva

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