Alewives Alosa pseudoharengus contain thiaminase activity that has been implicated in the development of a thiamine deficiency and associated effects in salmonines of the Great Lakes basin. Little is known about the factors that regulate thiaminase activity in alewives. We sampled alewives of uniform size (60-120 mm) during the summer of 1998 from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, seven of New York's Finger Lakes, one inland lake in Ontario, and two Great Lakes to assess possible relationships among thiamine, lipid content, fish abundance, lake morphometry, lake productivity, freshwater residency, and thiaminase activity. Thiaminase activity varied significantly among the 11 locations but was unrelated to thiamine concentration, which did not vary significantly. Alewife thiaminase activity in the Finger Lakes was negatively related to lipid content and positively related to measures of lake size (e.g., area, volume, and maximum depth). Activity in the one marine stock sampled in the Gulf of St. Lawrence was comparable to the highest values observed in the 10 freshwater stocks examined. Variation in alewife thiaminase activity has the potential to affect the extent of a thiamine deficiency associated with salmonines who feed on alewives as well as the viability of their offspring. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2005.
Additional publication details
Thiamine content and thiaminase activity of ten freshwater stocks and one marine stock of alewives