In stream-reared Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, plasma androgens were significantly greater in mature male parr than immature males and females in October, but had declined by January and did not differ significantly from immature fish throughout the spring. Immature fish in March were significantly larger and had greater gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity than their previously mature counterparts. Bimodal growth distribution was seen in hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon and a proportion of the male fish in the lower mode matured. Plasma testosterone (T) and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) were significantly elevated from September to December in mature male (1+ year) parr. In January, plasma androgens had declined in mature males and did not differ significantly from immature fish. By May all the hatchery fish were large enough to smolt and a proportion of the previously mature males had increased gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity. Therefore elevated androgens in the previous autumn do not prevent smolting. Parr with higher plasma T and 11-KT in April and May, that are presumably beginning to mature, had lower gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity, indicating that future maturation and associated increases in androgens may inhibit smolting. ?? 2002 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Seasonal changes in androgen levels in stream- and hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon parr and their relationship to smolting