First summer survival and subsequent growth of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar planted as eggs and fry in a tributary of Cayuga Lake, New York, were examined for 3 years. Atlantic salmon were planted in December 1999-2001 in 20 Whitlock-Vibert (W-V) egg incubators, each containing 300 eyed eggs. The following May, 500 fin-clipped Atlantic salmon fry were released in the same stream section. In autumn, a backpack electroshocker was used to capture fry to assess survival and growth. Mean survival was significantly greater for fry (27.9%) than eggs (0.8%). In autumn, mean length was significantly greater for Atlantic salmon released as fry (90.1 mm) than those planted as eggs (76.2 mm), probably owing to accelerated growth in the hatchery caused by warmer water temperatures (i.e., hatchery, 9.4A?C; stream, 5.1A?C). Releasing Atlantic salmon fry in May was nearly 11 times more costly in terms of hatchery effort than was releasing eggs in December. Although the survival of Atlantic salmon eggs in W-V incubators was low, when considering production costs, the use of egg plantings may warrant consideration under certain restoration or enhancement situations.
Additional publication details
Comparative survival and growth of Atlantic salmon from egg stocking and fry releases