In 1996 and again in 1999, hatchery personnel noted that some Lake Michigan coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch from fall spawning runs on the Platte River weir exhibited abnormal wiggling behavior that was similar to the behavior exhibited by thiamine-deficient Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, from the Baltic Sea. Samples of eggs or gonads, muscle, and liver from salmon and lake trout Salvelinus namaycush exhibiting abnormal behaviors were collected to determine the extent to which the behaviors were related to a thiamine deficiency. We compared these values with those found in normally behaving fish that produced offspring with high embryonic survival. In all adult fish exhibiting abnormal behavior, tissue residues of thiamine were among the lowest observed in the Great Lakes. Where embryonic survival was assessed, abnormal adult behavior was also associated with very high levels of offspring mortality due to early mortality syndrome. While the overall ecological significance remains to be determined, it appears that adult fish also exhibit neurological dysfunction and mortality associated with thiamine deficiency. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2005.
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Thiamine status in adult salmonines in the Great Lakes