We tested the swimming endurance of juvenile bull trout Salvelinus confluentus, lake trout S. namaycush, Arctic char S. alpinus, and rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss at 9??C and 15??C to determine whether sublethal infection from a moderate challenge of Renibacterium salmoninarum administered months before testing affected the length of time fish could maintain a swimming speed of 5-6 body lengths per second in an experimental flume. Rainbow trout and Arctic char swam longer in trials than did bull trout or lake trout, regardless of challenge treatment. When we tested fish 14-23 weeks postchallenge, we found no measurable effect of R. salmoninarum on the swimming endurance of the study species except for bull trout, which showed a mixed response. We conducted additional trials with bull trout 5-8 weeks postchallenge to determine whether increasing the challenge dose would affect swimming endurance and hematocrit. In those tests, bull trout with clinical signs of disease and those exposed to the highest challenge doses had significantly reduced swimming endurance compared with unchallenged control fish. Fish hematocrit levels measured at the end of all swimming endurance tests varied among species and between test temperatures, and patterns were not always consistent between challenged and control fish.
Additional publication details
Swimming endurance of bull trout, lake trout, arctic char, and rainbow trout following challenge with Renibacterium salmoninarum