A 2 X 2 factorial experiment of diet type (krill vs. fish meal) and steroid supplementation (0 vs. 30 ??g 17??-methyltestosterone kg-1) was conducted to determine the effects on dorsal fin erosion in steelhead trout. Triplicate tanks of 250 fry were fed one of the four diets at a rate calculated to produce 115 g fish in 34 weeks. Fish were transferred to larger tanks when mean density index reached 0.40. Dorsal fin index (DFI, measured as mean dorsal fin height X 100/total fish length) was greater (P < 0.001) among fish fed krill-based diets than for fish fed fish-based diets at weeks 12, 22, and 34 of the trial. Added testosterone decreased (p = 0.04) DFI among fish fed the krill diet at week 12 but otherwise had no effect on fin condition. Addition of testosterone to either diet type decreased (P = 0.02) critical thermal maximum, which is a measure of fish resistance to thermal stress. The results suggest that diet composition can influence the rate of dorsal fin erosion in steelhead trout through a metabolic, behavioral, or combined change.
Additional publication details
The effect of diet on dorsal fin erosion in steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)