Abstract: We assessed changes in proximate body composition, wet mass, and the occurrence of mortality among sedentary and actively swimming (15 cm/s) juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) (120-142 mm total length) that were held at 4.0, 7.5, or 15.0 ??C and fasted for 140 days. Warmer water temperatures and swimming activity accentuated declines in lipid mass, but they did not similarly affect lean mass and wet mass. Swimming fish conserved lean mass independent of water temperature. Because lean mass exceeded lipid mass, wet mass was not affected substantially by decreases in lipid mass. Consequently, wet mass did not accurately reflect the effects that water temperature and swimming activity had on mortality of fasted rainbow trout. Rather, lipid mass was more accurate in predicting death from starvation. Juvenile rainbow trout survived long periods without food, and fish that died of starvation appeared to have similar body composition. It appears that the ability of fish to endure periods without food depends on the degree to which lipid mass and lean mass can be utilized as energy sources.
Additional publication details
Interacting effects of water temperature and swimming activity on body composition and mortality of fasted juvenile rainbow trout