To assess the effects of gas bubble trauma (GBT) on the predator avoidance ability of juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), we created groups of fish that differed in prevalence and severity of gas emboli in their lateral lines, fins, and gills by exposing them to 112% total dissolved gas (TDG) for 13 days, 120% TDG for 8 h, or 130% TDG for 3.5 h. We subjected exposed and unexposed control fish simultaneously to predation by northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) in water of normal gas saturation in 6, 18, and 10 tests using prey exposed to 112, 120, and 130% TDG, respectively. Only fish exposed to 130% TDG showed a significant increase in vulnerability to predation. The signs of GBT exhibited by fish sampled just prior to predator exposure were generally more severe in fish exposed to 130% TDG, which had the most extensive occlusion of the lateral line and gill filaments with gas emboli. Fish exposed to 112% TDG had the most severe signs of GBT in the fins. Our results suggest that fish showing GBT signs similar to those of our fish exposed to 130% TDG, regardless of their precise exposure history, may be more vulnerable to predation.
Additional Publication Details
Predator avoidance ability of juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) subjected to sublethal exposures of gas-supersaturated water
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences