We tested the influence of introduction time and the manner of introduction on growth, survival, and life-history expression of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Introduction treatments included three fry stocking times and stream rearing of embryos. Despite poor growth conditions during the early stocking period, early-stocked fish were larger throughout the entire study period, likely the result of prior residence advantage. This interpretation was reinforced by the laboratory study, where early-stocked fish outgrew late-stocked fish when reared together, but not when they were reared separately. In contrast to growth, abundance of stocked fish was greatest for fish stocked during the middle period, and this stocking group produced the greatest number of smolts. Despite smaller size, survival of stream-incubated fish was generally greater than survival of stocked fish. Introduction timing had a pronounced effect on smolt age but a weak effect on extent of parr maturation. Overall, these observations indicate that small differences (???2 weeks) in introduction time can have long-term effects on size, survival, and life-history expression. Results suggest stabilizing selection on introduction times, mediated by the interaction between prior residence (advantage to fish introduced earlier) and habitat suitability (advantage to fish introduced later). ?? 2004 NRC Canada.
Additional publication details
Long-term consequences of variation in timing and manner of fry introduction on juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) growth, survival, and life-history expression
Larger Work Title:
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences