Alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) were reared from the egg to the early juvenile life stage. The major obstacle to rearing alewives from the egg- providing an acceptable food that facilitates first feeding- was overcome by presenting a mixture of wild zooplankton to the larvae twice daily, beginning on the day of hatching. Initial feeding by larvae held at 20A?C was observed 2 days after hatching, when the yolk was nearly absorbed. Comparison of stomach contents and the wild zooplankton composition suggested that the diet of larvae during the first 15 days of life shifted with changes in the availability of food but remained within a fairly narrow range of food sizes. Larvae hatched at a mean total length of 3.8 mm and grew at an average rate of 0.62 mm per day, to a mean of 35.5 mm after 50 days. At 50 days most fish had transformed into juveniles. The daily instantaneous mortality coefficient was 0.018. About half of the mortality occurred during the first 13 days after hatching.
Additional publication details
Culture, feeding, and growth of alewives hatched in the laboratory