Reforms for salmonid hatcheries include production of hatchery fish with behavioral characteristics similar to wild conspecifics. Enrichment of the hatchery environment has been proposed to achieve this goal. Field experiments of steelhead (i.e., sea-run rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss) fry from a common stock reared under natural (i.e., stream), enriched hatchery, and conventional hatchery conditions indicated no significant differences in the rates of foraging or aggression between rearing treatments. However, the rates of foraging and aggression of natural fry were significantly affected by the type of hatchery fry stocked with them. Natural steelhead fry fed at lower rates and exhibited higher rates of aggression when stocked with steelhead fry raised in enriched hatchery environments. Territory sizes of steelhead fry ranged from 0.015 to 0.801 m2; were significantly, positively related to body length; and were not significantly different between rearing treatments. We conclude that hatchery steelhead fry released into streams establish territories that are proportional to their body length and similar in size to territories of natural steelhead fry. Our results indicate that both conventional and enriched hatchery environments produce natural social behaviors in steelhead released as fry and that fry from enriched hatchery environments may alter the foraging and aggressive behavior of natural, resident steelhead fry. ?? 2008 NRC.
Additional Publication Details
Environmental enrichment in steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) hatcheries: Field evaluation of aggression, foraging, and territoriality in natural and hatchery fry
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences