Electroshocking and tagging of fish with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags are two commonly used methods for conducting mark-recapture studies in freshwater environments and are frequently used in combination. We conducted an experiment to test for the effects of electroshocking, tagging, and a combination of electroshocking plus tagging on the growth and survival of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar parr. We used five treatments that included the presence or absence of PIT tags and electroshocking at 300 or 500 V plus a control group. Fish were measured, weighed, and electroshocked on four occasions separated by approximately 2-month intervals. The average (??1 SD) fork length was 62.1 ?? 1.9 mm and the average weight was 2.5 ?? 0.3 g at the start of the experiment; at the end of the experiment, length averaged 120.5 ?? 11.6 mm and weight averaged 20.9 ?? 6.1 g. We did not detect any significant effects of electroshocking on growth or survival over the course of the experiment. However, there was evidence that tagging negatively influenced survival over the first interval after initial tagging and that survival was positively correlated with fish size. In addition, tagged fish seemed to suffer a minor depression in growth over the first interval, although differences in size among tagged and untagged fish were nonsignificant throughout the course of the experiment. We suggest that the size at tagging may have a greater effect on survival and growth of small (<80-mm) Atlantic salmon parr than the amount of exposure to electroshocking. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2005.
Additional publication details
Electroshocking and PIT tagging of juvenile Atlantic salmon: Are there interactive effects on growth and survival?