We used otolith banding patterns formed during incubation to discriminate among hatchery- and wild-incubated fry of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka from Tustumena Lake, Alaska. Fourier analysis of otolith luminance profiles was used to describe banding patterns: the amplitudes of individual Fourier harmonics were discriminant variables. Correct classification of otoliths to either hatchery or wild origin was 83.1% (cross-validation) and 72.7% (test data) with the use of quadratic discriminant function analysts on 10 Fourier amplitudes. Overall classification rates among the six test groups (one hatchery and five wild groups) were 46.5% (cross-validation) and 39.3% (test data) with the use of linear discriminant function analysis on 16 Fourier amplitudes. Although classification rates for wild-incubated fry from any one site never exceeded 67% (cross-validation) or 60% (test data), location-specific information was evident for all groups because the probability of classifying an individual to its true incubation location was significantly greater than chance. Results indicate phenotypic differences in otolith microstructure among incubation sites separated by less than 10 km. Analysis of otolith luminance profiles is a potentially useful technique for discriminating among and between various populations of hatchery and wild fish.
Additional publication details
Discrimination among populations of sockeye salmon fry with Fourier analysis of otolith banding patterns formed during incubation